Two writers of my acquaintance have written stories in the last couple of weeks about the downside of social media, one about losing balance in their life, and the other about the potential for depression.
As someone who has been accused of being too social-network-centric, and of occasionally (my word, not theirs) ignoring the real people I’m with in favour of checking my email/Facebook/Twitter, etc., this is an issue that is getting my attention more and more. That and the fact that the social media giants keep exchanging my for their profit.
As much as I adore my social network, and the fun of social bookmarking and viral videos, I have a dream where I live with my loved ones beyond the reach of Internet and data coverage…
In that world, I get lots of sleep. The black bags under my eyes go away. I have time to do serious cooking. I have time to read. I have a front porch with a swing on it, and the time to spend evenings sitting on it watching the sun go down with the people I love.
The phone hardly rings, and I’m not caught up in what’s new or what the latest meme or phrase is. Fads become irrelevant, and life is more about being healthy in all aspects: physically, emotionally, mentally, environmentally.
I realize that my vision is idealistic, but there is something in it, isn’t there? A by-product of a heavily-technologized modern life is getting caught up in a rhythm of life that tends to be frenetic and unbalanced. We focus on a to-do list that prioritizes rational tasks over mental or spiritual health. Technology compounds our stress by allowing us to always be “on the clock,” multi-task, and do things last-minute.
I will not give up the dream.
As it is now, I think I may have to take up meditation to help myself re-learn how to focus on what’s important.
Here are the articles that inspired me (the third has some compelling graphics that relate very well):