Social Media Pitfalls

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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?

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Slowing Down…..

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Hey folks,

I apologize for my long absence..I have really put my blog on the wayyyy back burner but I have decided that’s not going to happen anymore…

So where have I been? In truth, sucked into social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and then I started a YouTube channel last year and that was the end of it. My blog got lost which is sad because, I really do enjoy writing on my blog, or at least I did until I really got into making YouTube videos.  Ive been thinking a lot about my social media use the last few months and I realized that it really had become a huge part of my life and for some, I guess thats fine but for myself it’s not any longer.. A lot of things have suffered in my life because of my heavy use of always being connected. I no longer do a lot of the things I like such as needle crafts, reading, watching a movie and most of all, praying. If you’re wondering how all these things could suffer because of social media I’ll tell you some about it.. 

I feel like I am always on information overload and I don’t think I am alone in feeling like this. It’s like I am perpetually connected to every single thing that goes on in this world and while sometimes that may not be a bad thing, for me it’s become a burden and one I don’t need. I find I can no longer quiet my thoughts. My thoughts are always moving at mach speed and my concentration has become almost nil. My thoughts are always going from one thing to the next. This is not a good thing. I can no longer watch movies, or sit and do some needle work because my brain is always moving along and sitting peacefully and quietly seems like such a hard thing to do now. I always feel a constant anxiety to move and do something. I guess I could describe it as my mind and body are always “on”.. They never just slow down.. My mind and body always seem to be in some sort of race. This is a horrible thing for my prayer life which has taken a huge hit. For one to be able to pray, pray deeply and connect with God, one must be able to quiet the mind and body. I have in the last year or so found this almost impossible to do and I hate it.. For me, prayer, connection to God is absolutely important above all else but, when one is unable to ‘turn off” this is impossible.

I made a decision last night that I would start learning how to turn off again and that means my social media use absolutely must be cut to a minimum. Of course I will still use it but not before the more important things in my life are achieved. Such as, prayer, getting back to Mass again every week and taking care of my family and myself.

What I would like to do is restart my blog because I have missed it. I do enjoy making videos for YouTube but honestly, not as much as I like writing. I believe I can find a balance in all this and I think the balance for me is, my blog will be mostly what I will use social media for. I will still make YouTube videos but only when I feel like it and definitely not on any kind of schedule.. I do want to keep up with those on YouTube Ive become friends with so I wouldn’t abandon it all together but my making of and watching videos is going to be cut drastically so I can devote more time to the things I mentioned above and to my blog.

I really hope some of you can understand and connect with what I’m feeling about my social media sink hole and I really hope you all will keep up with me on my blog…

Until my next post…. God bless you and keep you..

Robyn  

Life Interrupted.

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Wow! It’s been a REALLY long time since I’ve put up a blog post.. Which, leads me to the subject I wanted to write about in this post..

I guess it was about a year ago I felt the need to make my life easier, much simpler. More peaceful.. I thought, it would be an easy task.. I mean c’mon.. How hard could that be right? It’s not like I’m trying to move a mountain or anything or… is it? I began the usual way most people do which is purging items we own.. in a word.. stuff!.. Just a side note, I am still doing that believe it or not and I’ve gotten rid of a lot of stuff already.. I digress..

In the last months or so I realized that I don’t do the things I used to like to do such as , reading, needle work, watching old movies, playing a game of cards with my husband, “put posts up on my blog”. Things like this.. Simple things.. I asked myself why that was.. Did I suddenly dislike these things? No.. Did I now find them boring? No..So just what was it that was preventing me from doing the things I’ve so enjoyed in the past. After some long thought , no I’m not a fast thinker most times, I came to the conclusion.

I need to “unplug”.. For those who don’t know what I mean by “unplug”. it means I need to step back and far away from all things social media. Facebook which is supposed to be “social” but really when you think about it is “anti-social”. I will explain more why I say that if you’d like. I need to back away from Twitter, and a newly acquired online addiction, YouTube. Now don’t misunderstand me, I am in no way “anti-social media” but for myself and I am sure for a lot of other people, social media has taken over my life..Where I used to take time to de-stress by knitting, reading, watching a movie, praying, etc. I have now taken all the time I spent on those things which helped me in more ways than one and replaced it all by staring at screens of some sort or another most of the night..

Because of this pattern I’ve gotten myself into, I can also say I’ve lost my inner peace. My mind is constantly running amok from one thought to another. I can’t seem to concentrate on anything for more than 5 minutes at a time. Im always checking “statuses” “Tweets” “Selfies” Videos”. And… it’s got to stop.  I have in the past been trying to pry myself away but it almost seems like an addiction. It works for maybe an hour at which time I am usually watching one of my favorite TV series on my DVR but once the show is over, I go right back to my laptop or phone.

So my questions to you are, Do you have this problem? How are you breaking the chain?