The other day, while aimlessly checking my FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter, and [insert social media app of the moment here], I had an epiphany. Or something like one. More like a kick in the shins. I didn’t really care what anyone was doing or posting (not in a negative way, because I do care about my friends or family), but I was drawn to the need to feel connected to something, anything. It seems that I, like many young people in my generation, suffer from extreme bouts of the fear of “missing out” and “being alone with yourself”. Obviously, I can’t speak for everyone, but it seems like this has become a huge issue for me. I’m slowing become a boring person, one who gets bored easily, and needs to find some sort of stimulation by living vicariously through the mundane but seemingly more exciting lives of my social media friends. I’m forgetting how to think critically and deeply, how to entertain myself, how to feel okay with being by myself.
Most of us aren’t so young that we can’t remember the times of actual interaction with real live human beings, with no distractions like smartphones to glance down at every five seconds in the middle of a conversation. Remember trying to remember the name of a movie or a place, etc, and you had to like, actual talk each other through it and THINK, instead of Googling it?? And while you were trying to remember that thing, you thought of other things, that possibly made you think of something else, and took the conversation off into a tangent about THAT new thing?? That so rarely happens in my life now, I’m sad to report. I’m trying to think of the last time I had a real-life intellectually stimulating conversation with someone, and I’m blanking out (maybe two weeks ago?). And those times that I do attempt it, because I’m feeling quite thoughtful and pensive that day, people look at me like I take life too seriously. But isn’t the purpose of life to ponder and well, search for the purpose of it?
I can also recall not being able to wait until I had a few hours to myself, so I could do whatever I wanted, kid and husband free. I would write some poetry or music (or a blog post), or maybe do a little reading, or make something else worthwhile, like being present in the moment. Now, I get a couple of hours, and I’m staring at a phone or iPad screen, scrolling through and “liking” stuff that I actually really don’t like, or playing the evil that is Ruzzle or CandyCrush (I’m soooo ashamed to admit this). I’ve considered deactivating my social media accounts, but I always come up with excuses like, “I live so far away from my friends and family now, this is how they can keep up with us!” (because there are no such things as phones, anymore, right?), or, “I need it for business purposes!” (I really don’t). And so the insanity ensues.
I honestly don’t have a solution to this issue, but I know it’s one that is starting to have a large impact on my relationships and my creativity. When I can sit on the phone with someone I haven’t spoken to in a while, and I can’t have a conversation that’s longer then ten minutes, that’s a problem to me. And when it takes me a month and a half to write a new blog post because I can’t focus, that’s also a problem. If you’re not experiencing this issue, I commend you. And if you are, I think we may need to start a support group. If you suddenly see me disappear from your friend feed in the near future, know that I haven’t unfriended you or blocked you out of my life. I’m just needing to be focused and blocked in to MY life.
Good for you! Unplug away!
Thank you, I’m trying my best! (:
Love this post. I do this too frequently. Browse trying to find something stimulating or a conversation. But ultimately, I just end up browsing and liking random crap too. Ever notice how people will post pic after pic but don’t have time for intellectual conversations (but bring up drama and people make time…) And I am no smarter or more connected at the end of the day. I think I will be unplugging soon. If I really need to know something, people can call, right? In the meanwhile, I’ll be reading a book and actually using my mind.
Even better when media heads get together and decide to create a 60 minute story of on-line bullying which could have been prevented by closing the laptop in the first place.
Undoubtedly, it is others expectations which keeps you there.
Those born with so much creativity may also have heightened sensitivity that come hand in hand, thus driving them subconsciously into something which is nothing but re-enforcement of the ego & ones creative work.
However, taking away this aspect, what is it that you actually do/produce/sell/make, or appreciate? Are others opinion on the matter relevant or are you going to keep doing what you do/love regardless of what they think?
If it effects you, or the judgement of yourself stay away. If a business is fundamentally unsuccessful, social media will not create a better business. It will increase exposure, however you can also lead any horse to water..but it wont necessarily drink.
Use it wisely to open your eyes to the differences & new ideas out there as it can be beneficial. However people need a serious reality check – they need lowered expectations by not comparing, which is precisely what facebook decided to do in the first place (according to the movie “The Social Network”; create a program designed at comparing people and thus rating the superior image. Monkeys in a cage?
Kick ass the way you know how, because nothing is “the right way” or “better” than anyone else. No 2 people are the same.
Love your article
Love your insightful response. It’s true though…you have to determine how much of it you’ll allow to affect your life, and in what way. I believe it should be used like salt – sparingly! Thank you!!