I can’t believe it’s been one week without social media. It seems like longer. It’s made me realize several things.
#1 – I do not miss discussing politics, and my choice to keep myself largely ignorant of the goings on of the world and the news during law school to focus on work was very wise.
I spend an inordinate amount of time engaging in discussions that upset me because I hope to change people’s minds or to bring knowledge about egregious wrongs going on in the world to people that I hope will take action against it. I feel that because they’re my friends, who are very good people and who want good things for themselves, for me, and for the country (and I do know that they care about my situation and that they are good people) that I can make a difference in our country or in our world in general.
I am wrong about that, I think.
Or, more accurately, I think that the payoff is not worth the level of upset that I find myself consistently mired in.
I far too keenly feel the sting of perceived injustice at the hand of others, and far too easily place myself in the victim’s shoes. My capability for compassion is stronger than it might ought to be, and my desire for what I perceive as justice is certainly too strong.
There is enough going on in my life to focus on without spending my energies on the struggles of strangers. While I may somehow “make a difference” by discussing it, it is unclear to me that it is a positive one in the world or in the world of those strangers, or even in my life by focusing on those struggles. Raging against injustice is just that. Rage. I’m not sure how it’s constructive or helpful to anyone anymore than watching people yell at each other on TV. It’s an exercise in getting myself (and others) upset.
Righteous indignation without action is, in my estimation, emotional masturbation. Getting angry to no good purpose. And I’ve been doing it a lot. Social media breeds it. Let’s all get good and upset and talk about it… and do nothing but console ourselves about how right we are.
Don’t get me wrong. There is a need to vent. There is a time and a place. Perhaps Social Media is that time and place! And maybe I was just spending too much time there.
#2 – I direly miss knowing what’s going on with the people I care about, and Facebook had become my only means of communication with 99% of the people I care about. That is all kinds of messed up.
I’m starting to make new friends! I’ve already met a couple of folks who live in my apartment building. Did you know I have neighbors? Well, it’s true. 🙂 And they don’t hardly suck at all, so far as I can tell! 🙂
And my phone works! And so does my email! AND I CAN SEE PEOPLE IN REAL LIFE. Insane, I know.
But it also let me know that people totally take for granted that I’m going to post my whole life online, and so people don’t try to contact me. The thing that kinda sucks about that, is that I’m not offput by that. I still am kind of phone-shy. I miss having emails to answer. I miss being in on conversations. All I get mostly is spam right now.
It weirds me out that I’m not getting emails or texts from folks to say hi. I figured people would miss me, but they don’t really, or if they do, it’s after I contact them. So, I’m not the only social media addict out there. 🙂 It’s easy to do!
#3 – I get my news from my friends! THEY HAVE THE BEST SOURCES!
I totally had to think of what sites to visit to get my news after I stopped going to Facebook first thing in the morning. I was like, “Ok, who has the best news, and when I read the news from my friends, what site does it send me to?”
Prior to Social Media, I never would have checked out sites like Gizmodo or The Huffington Post. Would you miss reading articles like this? The 5 Questions You Hate Not Knowing the Answer to by Rainn Wilson (The Guy Who Plays Dwight Shrute on The Office).
But today is Sunday, which means I get some of the ORIGINAL Social Media coming to my door, courtesy of the lovely April M., who gifted us a year’s supply of the LA Times for our wedding. (Thanks again, April!!!)
Time to toast a bagel, pour some coffee, and honor Grandma by clippin some coupons like I do every week. 🙂
Hope everyone has a happy Sunday and enjoys the time change! An extra hour of sleep is good for everybody! 🙂