I have been heavy with thought of how many times my phone is in my hands during the course of my waking hours. While I am present in many ways in my life, I know there is always room for more. And I would venture that the amount of time I’m “passing” by scrolling down through a newsfeed on “insert site here” would be quite scary if I actually tracked it. And there are a lot of things that I’m finding bothersome about social media and its presence these days.
All over facebook you’ll find article after article telling us how we can be better people, how we can do more, how we can become “perfect”. “Six ways to have your best life”, or “Ten ways to stop stressing”. “Five ways to Live your dream life”. Blah blah blah. There are two things that create happiness. Perspective and Intention. It’s all how you see things, and what you do with what you see.
So, before I digress any further from my whole point (because, as a Libra, I am wordy and I can digress better than anyone, and I could totally prove that by putting the two paragraphs back in that I edited out above this one…oh, look, I totally digressed from my digressing! bam, take that, squirrel!). Where was I? Oh, yes, facebook and all the other social media that I truly believe have their positive ways of connecting us, but just as many, if not more ways of disconnecting us. And I’m challenging myself. I’m not putting any timeframes or restrictions. It’s not a challenge to stay off facebook for 30 days, or to only check once a day. I’m challenging myself to be more aware of my media consumption in all of its forms. Facebook, texting, emailing, etc. It’s all consumption, and just like physical things, we can overconsume media too. And the only reason I don’t include television in there is because I’ve already conquered that one. We are very conscious in what we watch as we don’t have a television and only watch dvd’s on the laptop or the occasional netflix. Take that cable company!
Every two or three weeks, one of my best friends and I spend usually over two hours on the phone. Not texting, not chatting, but verbally talking to each other with our voices. The entire time I was growing up, my mother and my grandmother had a weekly hour long call with my aunt who lives out of state. My mother continues that today. On the phone, talking to each other. I know so many people who would have no idea how to fill those moments of awkward silence. What do you do when the silence comes? I guess because facebook didn’t exist back in the day (and it still doesnt’ to many people) there are plenty of things to talk about because people didn’t know what everyone was doing every minute of every day. But here’s the thing, why should silence be awkward? Why are we so fucking afraid of talking to each other? But we’re all apparently okay talking AT each other. Oh, facebook, you fathom me so.
When was the last time you physically wrote someone a letter? Do you even know most of your friends addresses? I have had a few friends over the years that have gone out of state and became my pen pals. I still have every one of those letters. Even handwritten letters show emotion and sounds that texting and email doesn’t. I am starting to really dislike texting as a form of communication for anything other than “do you need anything? i’m on my way. what time are you leaving?”. So much is lost in those little bubbles. So much miscommunication, so much lack of emotion, understanding, expression. Even those ridiculous emoticons don’t do near the job of portraying laughter as a good verbal guffaw. I’ve had way too many conversations over text that should have been initiated in person and I wonder how those same conversations would have gone 15 years ago without this technology.
Do you ever just stop and visit people? Like unplanned visits? I remember running around with my grandmother, doing grocery shopping or any errands, and she would say “oh I have to stop and visit so and so”, and we would.
I guess I’m just feeling a little underwhelmed with the media these days. It’s pretty nice out today, and my wisteria needs pruning. And there’s not an app for that, thankfully.