There are many social media platforms but the most popular is Facebook. Four years ago I was still against joining the connected millions but as fate would have it I eventually caved to the request of friends and family and joined. Looking back I think it may have been a huge mistake. No, I know it was.. Now, sadly, I can count myself among the facebook surfing addicted. An addiction by the way I am trying to break.
I experienced the same “honeymoon phase” most did when they first got a friend request from someone they hadn’t spoken to in years. Then another came and another and another…It was mind blowing for the first year or so. All these people I grew up with that I haven’t seen in decades, kids I spent hours with in Summertime as a child. Relatives I haven’t connected with in years and on and on…and then…………as with any relationship real life sets in and things don’t look so rosy. And lately they look downright bleak.
I find Facebook these days as depressing and dividing as the nightly news which I also stopped watching about two years ago. Each time you log in your bombarded with the days most upsetting, angering and sometimes gruesome news out there. And yes, you can adjust your newsfeed settings to see only certain things but when ‘friends’ are posting what you don’t want to see it’s no longer hidden.
I’ve also found that as a society in the quest to be more connected, social media has made us even more disconnected. For many, the days of the Saturday drop in on a friend for coffee are gone. The spontaneous “lets call so and so and have them over for dinner and a game or something” are gone. The porch sitting at the end of the day with neighbors are gone. Why? Because we’re all so virtually connected that we are physically disconnected.
For myself, this addiction has taken away from things I used to like to do. Simple things in life such as , all of the above, reading, watching a good movie, crafting etc. Why? Because I’m addicted to social media and always have my eyes on the laptop screen or my phone. I have vowed to break this addiction. In reflecting on my time on social media I have come to some conclusions.
- I don’t always need to be connected
- Being connected all the time makes the mind unable to relax
- I’ve wasted a lot of time that could have been spent in better ways
- I’ve become lazy in my physical connections
- The majority of the people I haven’t spoken to in decades with the exception of a few hold no more importance in my life than before I knew “where they are now”
- Sometimes, the kids you were inseparable with as a child and this includes family as well, grew up to be people you couldn’t stand to sit in a room with for ten minutes.
- The select few you have reconnected with surprised you because they turned out to be some of the nicest people you’ll ever know
- Those who you truly connect with and not in just a superficial virtual way will stick with you through email and phone calls even if you leave facebook.
The good things I’ve learned from being on social media?
- I’ve made a few old/new friendships that will last the rest of my life no matter where I am online or off
- Just how important being physically connected to those I care for is.
Having learned all this I will be trying very hard to get to the point of deleting my facebook account all together. Until then I will be choosing to spend my time more wisely.. How about you?