Before going to bed last night, I picked up my phone and logged out of Facebook. I felt this desperate need to disconnect and exhale.
I vividly recall back in the days if we wanted to connect with persons in different countries, we had to find a pen pal and write a letter. Now all it takes is “add friend” on one of these social media sites and you are instantly connected. Social media as with everything in life has it’s up side and it’s down side. Everyone having access to the internet at first was okay, because in order to keep in touch and log on, you had to do it from a computer. That computer oftentimes was at home, and in order to post you had to be home.
We owned cellular phones that were only able to act like, well – phones. We would send and receive calls with an occasional text message here and there. As time progressed and technology became more advanced, we saw the birth of the smart phone, which as we all know in many instances seem much smarter than their owners. As the years progressed, we witnessed enormous advancements in technology, and with the mere touch of a button we were able to access the internet at anytime – from anywhere.
What has me puzzled is, now that we have all this technology to keep us connected, why are we so disconnected from each another? Why do we ridicule, judge, criticize, and hate each other so much? Is it too much accessibility and too much personal information out there on social media users? Do users put too much about themselves on the net making themselves targets-preys for other users?
I know you’ve all noticed that no one communicates the old fashioned way anymore. Phone calls have been replaced by text and WhatsApp messages, real smiles replaced by emojis and personal invites by evites. Everyone with a Facebook page is a superstar, and the selfies and constant video clips of them doing everything from using the bathroom to lying in a hospital bed is public info. Nothing is sacred anymore, and nothing is private. TMI all across the net all day everyday. Folks now live for “Likes”, “Shares”, and “Comments!” Some females even experience depression if their “selfie” with their new hairstyle was unable to rack up 300 or more “likes”.
Rumors are started, built and carried away on social media and very few read anything with comprehension. They hit the “share” button on everything scandalous and demeaning, and look for every opportunity to be the owner of the page with the most hype. Some family members with the same address, would rather discuss issues on their timeline as opposed to face to face.
Folks are walking the streets and bumping into each other because of their inability to disconnect from social media. Cars have mowed down pedestrians on crosswalks who had their eyes glued to their phone screens and ear buds jammed in their ears. Even at the dinner table children can be seen with their phones next to their forks, and ears well plugged listening to the latest musical sensation.
It’s most annoying to see friends and family out to dinner, and the source of their amusement is not present company, or the entree…it’s whatever’s got them all looking down at their phones. Who posted what? Who said what about whom? And the photos…yes, the photos. We can’t forget those.
So yeah, I had to log out of Facebook on my phone as I felt as if I was being held hostage. The constant pinging from the notifications became most annoying, and I had no will-power to not look to see who was contacting me. I feel so free and will log in when next I feel like it. I don’t know when that will be, but it feels good to escape the negative energy that’s rampant on these sites.
I am thankful that technology has made things so much easier for us. I can book an airline ticket with ease, shop without a sales associate pretending not to be watching if I’m stealing, see my beautiful grand-daughter on face time whenever I feel like it, and send an email instead of joining a line at the post office.
What I would like to see however, is people communicating from the heart again; really loving one another and spending genuine time with each other. We shouldn’t let the negatives of the internet ruin our lives and our relationships. We mustn’t be so quick to run to mischief and believe rumors. With love, compassion and communication…it can work!