The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get use to the latter.
EPISODE EIGHTY SEVEN: That Isn’t Being Very Social
Like a lot of people, I spend too much time on social media. I have become a Facebook zombie with a sprinkling of Twitter and Instagram mixed in. I dwell too long on posts about politics, cat videos, watching recipes being made, people doing really stupid things, and the turmoil some people find themselves in so often it sounds either made up or self-inflected. A lot of pain is typed or pictures taken of.
There are many nice things that are posted, too. Engagements, births, people who find their life making great changes and strides toward more fulfilled happiness can also be found in the day to day scroll of posts.
Regardless of what has been seen, it can all be too much.
And it can be an addiction.
I’ll use myself as a example.
I was going to take a break from Facebook for a few days. Three days. That was it. I wasn’t going to get on for anything. I have a habit to wish people a happy birthday, even if I don’t really know them. We’re just Facebook friends. I wasn’t even going to do that.
I made an announcement that I was going to be away for a short bit.
First day: I did pretty well. I didn’t click the Facebook bookmark and stayed away. I did think if anybody cared if I wasn’t on. That thought would enter my mind as I did other things (worked, wrote on my blog, etc.).
Second day: First thing I did was clicked on Facebook out of habit and right before it came up, I clicked it off in a rush. But before I did, I saw I had 28 unread messages.
That bugged me all day. I wondered what people had said. But I focused on work and writing or reading or listening to an audiobook.
Third day: I couldn’t stand it. I jumped on FB for a minute to check what was happening. Did I need to? No. The curiosity was driving me nuts. Were any of the comments that I had waiting for me life changing? Like 99.9% of most posts….no. I could have waited to read them.
At the end of that third day, I was back on. Back to ‘normal’.
That is addiction, through and through.
Why is social media so addicting to a lot of people?
It’s a chance to be close to somebody without being close to them. We find it easier to chat online than it is to meet up in real life.
What about people who live great distances from each other?
Believe it or not, when you buy a cell phone, most come with plans that include long distance calls…for free. Call them. Talk to them, voice to ear.
There are some people that live in other countries and other time zones when social media is a better choice. That’s true and I agree with that. Type away.
For most of us, though…it’s no excuse. Facebook is just easier. And we can hide behind a screen and a keyboard.
I’m one of those that can’t take their own advice. I HATE getting on the phone. I loath using it for actually talking. Only one person in the world is somebody I will get on the phone with and that’s my daughter.
Other than her, getting on the phone to talk with anybody else is like pulling teeth with rusty pliers.
I understand the social media divider that some develop. We have the world at our finger tips and in real life, we tend to push it away. We want a hug from an arm length distance.
Social media blinders.
Not only do we keep other people at a distance, we might even keep ourselves at a distance. Think of the time people spend ‘socializing’ too much when they (me) could be spend seeing actual people or creating something or reading or writing or a million other things that make us more whole, more knowledged in others and ourselves.
I had a crazy, radical idea. I mean it’s way out there and it’ll take a lot of self-control.
Ready? Here it is…
Let’s all take a social media break. I’m not saying to quit and delete your accounts. I’m saying when you have checked and answered messages and maybe scrolled for about ten minutes…click it off. Go on to other things, like living real life. Make a call, speak to a friend or a family member, take a walk (and stay off your phone) by yourself or with a friend or spouse or your child or your dog or all of the above. Read a book. Use your intellect and imagination to enter a world through the pages. Or go create something.
Maybe even work…at your job. I had to throw that in there for you that like being there.
Don’t get me wrong, social media can be a good thing. It can make the world we live in a bit smaller and we can learn things that we never could before it came along. It can connect people that thought they may never see each other again. It might even make some people better friends because it is easier to make statements behind that screen and keyboard that they never would have face to face.
It can bring good things.
As we all know, even good things can be addictive.
We all need to keep our social media to a limit and we need to be more social…in the real world. The world without clicks of computer keys and scrolling bad politics, fake news, and useless quizzes.
I think you can watch all the cat videos, though.
October 27th, 2017
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.