Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


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Cyber-Crack

typing blur
A couple of days ago, at about 5 in the morning,  I made this announcement on Facebook.

Facebook is a time sucking vortex. It is addictive and therefore detrimental to one’s life.  I would much rather interact with people in real ways, by, —oh I don’t know–having a conversation? Or receiving well-crafted and substantial letters? The only communication that I dislike more than Facebook is Twitter and texting. Oh, I’ll still sign on and check for news and coupons but if you really want to communicate, write me an email with more than 150 character or give me a ring.

I got two supportive responses and a few likes, but as I suspect, most of my “friends” don’t follow me, and this post was largely unread.  I would add then that Facebook is an exercise in futility as well.

The deeper issue for me with using social media is not its cyber-crack nature or time-wasting factor.  More accurately, it is the shallowness and lack of authenticity in the interactions between people in these venues.  That statement should not take anyone by surprise.  My guess is that we all instinctively know that in most cases (though not all, I will concede) we don’t usually have true and natural relationships with people on-line.  For example, a person you might know and care deeply about in real life will sometimes come off as a real putz online.  You cannot hear tone and inflection in a 12-word tweet.  You cannot see in their eyes and discern emotion.  A post intended to mean one thing, may seem like it means something entirely else.  Feelings get hurt.  Real friendships are strained.

I would rather receive a real hug than a ((((hug)))).

So I stand by what I posted so early in the morning — maybe that is the time when my true and authentic self manifests- – I will be curtailing the time I spend in the cyber-realm to make more time to be true to others and myself.

And I actually might have time to begin writing again.

 

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The Sucking Vortex

I have heard it said that social media is the playground of the truly crazy where you will see many pathologies played out in a public arena. As true as that may be, I have also met many sane and wonderful people online who have actually become friends in the real sense. I know people from all over the world who have given generously of their time and wisdom to encourage me in my creative endeavors and to give me sound advice in many personal situations.

Additionally, my creative works would have no way of reaching an audience without social media. I would just be another writer whose works would never leave the confines of a computer hard drive.

Thank goodness for social media, yes?

However, we who are on social media for any length time will eventually discover that there are some terrible drawbacks to playing on this ball field.

Aside from the obvious – dealing with those faceless unknown people whom we will never see with any real clarity and who display their worst behavior – if we play with it long enough, social media will eventually become a soul-sucking addiction.

How much time do we waste reading cat memes and watching the current viral videos instead of actually creating? It is perfectly fine to set aside a few minutes for some entertainment, but for me, this “entertainment” has often gone on for hours, well into the night. (How many of you check for Facebook notifications when you get up at 2 am to pee?)

What does it do to one’s writing skills to have thoughts conveyed in only 150 words at a time?

Dealing with difficult posters can be so emotionally debilitating that one might not have the energy to lift a pen or a paintbrush to create.

We need real-life fodder to fuel our creative endeavors which we will not get if we don’t move our butts away from our computer desks or from our devices to get outside and live a real life.

Recently, I engaged in a spiritual fast which included not only giving up food but also giving up social media for a day. Just a day!   The food was easy. Not signing on to social media for 24 hours was dreadful.  Can we say that I am a tad addicted?   Yes, yes we can.

All this being said, you will see less of me on Facebook. I have simply had enough. Am I gone completely? No, absolutely not. I won’t forsake the exchange of ideas with my cadre of fellow creatives.   I will check frequently but I won’t be on all the time. I am moving my FaceBook and Twitter app icons to the last screen of my device so I don’t see that I have notifications every time I pick up my device. I am turning off the notification alert function on my settings. I will not carry my device around with me wherever I go.

I need to start swimming away from that spinning vortex. My life depends upon it.