I am working on a major story, my organization is growing rapidly, my dating life is a smashing hit (sorta), I have great friends, a supportive family and life is generally good. What does this mean? I really have nothing to write about this week and I was struggling for days on what I could share with my fellow Daytonians. I recently quit Facebook so perhaps one big status update would make a nice column? Who knows but it’s what you’re getting this week.
Introspective lately, I’ve started to weigh in on why life is so good and I attribute it ALL to positive thinking. You know..not giving up, making the best out of what your given, never backing down and always moving forward. What I’ve realized during my Facebook Lenten Pause is that hanging out on the real time web all day exposes a person to a great deal of negativity. Some days still, I find myself wanting to log off just to not have to read it. However since I absolutely insist on living a life overly exposed to information, logging off just isn’t an option. I’ve also realized that people, friends included have suddenly forgot the original purpose of having a phone which is to talk. It’s as if conversations can’t find their way off the social network wall, have we really become less interested in real human interaction? I no longer think privacy is the only concern with regard to social media. Now, I am more concerned about this shift in our culture that is changing the dynamic of our relationships and not always for the better.
2 Weeks In
Before I continue, in no way am I blaming a social network for these good things in my life not happening prior to my pause. I blame myself for allowing Facebook to become such a distraction from real life, although I am starting to firmly believe that by design, Facebook is meant and purposed with being the ultimate distraction. In any case, in the last couple of weeks I have eliminated that distraction and much to my surprise I’ve progressed both professionally and personally… noticeably.
With all this free time on my hands (not really) I have managed to put a great deal of focus into several projects thereby resulting in completion of many. I have identified several personal weaknesses (flaws) directly related to my time being consumed by playing around on the internets, having my nose lodged in a news feed, checking comments and “likes” as if I needed them to get by in life. All great qualities let me tell you. I had issues and I was starting to develop a complex. Signing off changed things though, dramatically and in a short time. What about Twitter? People keep asking me about this and all I can say is that my Twitter community is supportive and informative, two things I need in life. Doesn’t everyone? Translate that however you want but Twitter not now nor ever distracted me from living a meaningful life. It’s done the exact opposite truthfully and connected me with real people, doing great things and sharing those things in an openly freely friendly manner. That’s a lot of .ly’s, no pun. Whether the people around me what to admit that or not, I know they see it too. I’ve noticed more people in my circle Tweeting more than Facebooking, as well as a lot of new comers finally jumping into the stream. I’m such a trend setter. That was a joke. Rock on though Klout trouts.
I can’t help but laugh lately when people come to me and say, “Did you see what so and so said on Facebook.” It brings me great pleasure in life to say, “no..I didn’t.”
Back to what I’ve been up to. I’ve really put a great deal of energy into CultureMASH and helping the organizations both myself and my organization have committed to. I’ve also been able to implement some new initiatives at my “real job” that I am really excited about. I’ve had more one on ones in two weeks then I had in the last 4 months preceding the Lenten Pause. I am getting ready to partake on a real in-depth journalism / documentary series that I am very excited about. Lastly, I left my cell phone in my purse long enough to notice a few really cool dudes. Holler.
What was my problem?
If I were any more digital I’d be bionic. The internet is highly addictive. Especially for a person with an obsessive need to learn as much as time allows in a 24 hour period. The information, the people, the communities .. the world .. are all talking now and I can’t help but listen. I’ve been nosy since conception, Twitter suits that flaw but in a good way. I am still not entirely sure why Facebook had me so withdrawn but at the end of 40 Days, I hope to figure it out. I was too connected. So I had to cut back and Facebook made perfect sense as a starting point. Clearly, I made the right choice. In a previous column, I addressed our society becoming so obsessed with social network sites and how it was changing our culture…good and bad. Taking a step back has allowed me to see that neglecting my life off the wall and out of the stream was leading me down a lonely path.
No, I am not. No one appreciates the value of online communities and sharing information and stories daily, better than I. I get it and more than most. However, there has to be a balance. I don’t think too many people will read this and not second guess their overuse and self indulgence level of social networking, at least in my circle. We are all internet junkies but when your life starts to suffer or lack real human interaction because you are so plugged in, maybe a rest would be beneficial. Try it. You may like it. If not, the nurturing and co-dependent webernets will be there with open arms for your return. I promise.
To all those who have messaged me and asked me to return to the Book, you’re sweet. I’ve not been silenced I just moved entirely to a different location to express myself. There are bets going on whether or not I will return, at this point..I don’t believe so..but who knows. Thanks for reading.