Social media. I feel like it sucks me in every time. It’s one of the first things I check when I wake up and usually the last thing I’m scrolling through before bed. I have no idea why it is so addicting for me. Someone on Facebook this morning just vowed to (hang on, let me open Facebook in a new tab for reference…. dang it……. now I can’t find it and I am wasting more time yet again). Anyways, they mentioned something like this year they wanted to do away with unneeded drama vampires. I think that’s a good metaphor for social media. Something that sucks your time away from what you should be doing instead. Sure, I get great recipes from Facebook and Pinterest but what about all the fluff that I have to scroll through first to find mentioned items? Clickbait, I think it’s called? I got pulled into a site this morning that was advertising “travel pants”. They had some great colors and nice styles and their “clickbait” worked because I did go to their website. But $155 for a pair of “travel pants” was a little too spendy for me and so there goes wasted time that I can never get back again.
What should I have been doing? Well….. anything really. Anything besides scrolling over and over again. I have a couple of phone calls I could have made, I have this blog that I have been ignoring, I have two kittens (one of which is on my lap now) that always enjoy my attention. I am in the middle of reading three different books at the time and they aren’t going to read themselves. Yet, here I sit “liking” another cute animal meme.
I can remember a time without social media. Where you just had to be social. You actually just had to pick up the phone or go and meet up with people, in person, to be social. You had to have actual real life experiences, full of awkwardness and real emotions, instead of thumbs up and smiling emojis. Just as I am sitting here writing this, my computer is dinging and pinging at me. Another email came in. I am tagged on another Facebook post. Anything that will pull me away from trying to be “real” and suck me back into the world of my own make-believe.
I did just take a minute to see who tagged me and it was actually worth checking. I guess some good things and good connections can be made through social media. I have made a connection that is still in its infant stages with a vegan “life coach” if you will. His post today asked “what are you grateful for today”. I commented and he replied and now I have found out that we may have a chance of meeting face to face at our yearly vegan festival in April.
Social media 1,234,235,675, me 1. Score!
So, not all is bad and lost in the virtual world. Yet, sometimes I do feel like I lose myself a little too much there. At the same time, without it I wouldn’t be able to be reaching you all here today (yes, WordPress is a form of Social Media, I know, it’s terrible but it is what it is). I could still write out my thoughts and feelings but they would fall on deaf ears in a book on my nightstand. But then who’s to say that what I have to say is any more important than just that? Maybe what I have to say should just be written in a journal and left for just myself to see. How do you get followers anyways? The same way you get thumbs up I guess? You have to be, write, or do something interesting enough for other people to want to stop what they are doing, and then become the catch at the end of your own hook. Although I think more highly of my followers, that really seems to be the name of the game. I just wonder how some people make it BIG and some just have their humble little existence out there in cyber world? I wonder what their defining moment was? How did they acquire a huge following? What was it that caused more and more people to be interested in what they had to say over the next person out there? I wonder if they sit writing and have Facebook open on another page and go back and forth between the two? I certainly hope I am not the only one distracted by its alluring glow.
I have tried many times to remove myself from social media. I have taken it off my phone for months at a time (that helps when I am away from my computer or tablet). It actually is rather freeing. I know I am more productive when I am at work or just out with family and friends. But I also use it as a tool. I don’t really have a lot of “friends” on these sites, but I use them to gather information on things that I am interested in learning more about. I “like” pages of people I follow (e.g. in the vegan world) or of products that I feel would add value to my life (in fact I just started to “follow” the page for the Motiv Ring while writing this blog; pretty cool little gadget). But is it really worth the trade-off? Or is it really just making us all more anti-social while wearing cool travel pants?