“Distracted from distraction by distraction”
I write a lot about frustration, but one of the most frustrating things I have ever encountered is the world of social media. We can say goodbye to privacy, everything is connected to everything else. Someone can find out where I live, who my friends are, where I work, and anything else under the sun just by looking me up on the wonderful internet. I cannot even imagine how many relationships FaceBook has destroyed, the site seems to breed anger and jealousy by posting every person you have ever had a friendship with in your entire life.
Social media breeds narcism. People unplug from the real world, to enter their digital playground. Instead of enjoying the park, and their kids birthday party, they are on their phone taking tens thousands pictures of the event. They love writing and posting things, that frankly, nobody really cares about. Peoples attention seems to be wrapped up in how many twitter followers they have, and if people “liked” their pictures on Facebook or Instagram.
All I know is, I will never understand the algorithm for getting true followers. It seems that people who post themselves playing video games, get tens of thousands of hits. While I, can put my heart and soul into a piano song, will maybe get seventy views. I will not lie, the frustration is immense. I am a certified life coach, getting my masters in counseling, study anger management, and it is still hard for me to calm myself down after years of witnessing such insanity in the social media world.
Social media breeds instant gratification, and instant stress. People have their phones with them 24/7. It chimes whenever something comes in. Whether it be a text, twitter, Facebook, Instagram, email or phone. I believe there is an unwanted addiction that is growing from these devices. I feel like there is a hidden, nefarious agenda that perhaps is below our level of perception as well that is happening. All of us can be easily tracked, and I don’t like knowing that. Again, privacy is not only gone, it has been obliterated.
Am I a hypocrite then for using social media? Aren’t we all? The frustration is, a lot of us don’t have a choice. Our society has structured itself around these devices. I guess I could get rid of my computer and phone, but that would absurd. I hear of people living off the grid, what a change. I do not have the gumption or stamina to pull of such a feat. I would be off the grid for maybe four hours, then I would be crawling back to my mac computer on my hands and knees asking it for forgiveness. I say this because I am one of the addicts of the technology. If my website is to grow, of course, I have to have the internet, I must have followers. If I am to continue getting my masters, I have to have the internet, there is not a choice in this society.
I hope one day things will change, where social medial will become more a tool, and not the way. There is a big push for this stuff, because it just makes way to much money. You may think me crazy, but I really don’t think it has improved our lives much at all. At my job, we work with computers all the time, and in the hopes of not sounding sarcastic, these computers malfunction probably seventy percent of the time. Sometimes most of my day was just trying to unfreeze my computer screen. A book has never froze on me, pencil and paper has never shut down on me.
So what is the solution? The solution is simple. Let us work a little each day to put our phones down, and enjoy the moment. To treat the computer as an adjunct to make our life better, not to have it become our life. To realize we don’t have to respond to every email and text, right away, especially when we are driving.
We have to become more comfortable in our own mind, must fight that urge to look at the phone whenever we are at a stop light, or waiting in line for our coffee. Start communicating with people in the real world, talking to people face to face, without the comfort zone of the computer (phone) screen to buffer us.
We don’t have to keep buying the latest gadgets that come out, and learn to be happy with what we already have. This is an addiction that has swept the nation, that has crept in the last decade and hijacked our mind, and if I may be so bold, our soul. Am I being dramatic? Of course I am, but I am also being honest.
Alright, enough writing from me this morning. I need to go check my Twitter…