My mind has been clouded with distractions for the last few months. This often happens when I recognize that there is a big decision coming up. Often I don’t know what that decision will be until later on, and this is the case today.
I have become too dependent on social media like FaceBook and Twitter. There, I said it. I have been unconsciously struggling with this for some time, and this morning the reason for my malaise finally dawned on me. I have become part of the problem by simply spending my time online re-posting things rather than actually being creative or unique. The temptation to simply reinforce the echo chamber is very strong, and hard to resist.
I see a clear difference between FaceBook and Twitter. FaceBook is much more of a product that demands interaction, whether it is real communication with someone or not. Twitter is simply a bulleting board for garbage that begs for a response from anyone.
I have been thinking about the lack of genuine interaction with the people I supposedly know via social media. It is basically non-existent, to be honest. That comes as no surprise to me, but there are people I know in person from the past who fail to interact online and never in person or via the telephone. The sad truth is that these actions, that we are all guilty of, simply indicates the relative importance that we place on real relationships in the digital age.
FaceBook helped me to reconnect with some old friends I grew up with. We talked on the phone multiple time, and then things slowly drifted back to the point they were at before we reconnected in the first place. This isn’t a criticism of them as people, it also isn’t an absolution of myself for some type of noble behavior, it is just stating facts.
Without a real, personal, face-to-face relationship to fall back on, social media doesn’t help to reconnect people for very long. I then proceeded to occupy my online time with reposting items I saw that were of interest to me. In doing so, I fell into the same trap that I would have criticized other for. The struggle I mentioned earlier was coming to terms with this, and understanding that I was doing the same thing.
I am an optimist and a realist. I am not making some grand declaration that I am abandoning FaceBook forever. I simply need time to refocus on my writing and my own creative side for the time being. I am making the decision to stop checking FaceBook multiple times a day to see what people who I have no real contact with are talking about. I will focus instead on genuine interactions with those people who do choose to communicate is some rudimentary form.
When I started this blog, it was the most important thing in my digital life. It is time to return to that philosophy and listen to myself for a change. My mind feels more at rest now that I have made the decision, so it must be the right one.