THERE WAS A RECENT POST ON FACEBOOK that has me thinking (oh, that can be a very dangerous thing, y’know…). Thinking very seriously about where the digital social media is taking us — and that we seem to be following it without a thought.
We spend so much time on the internet and our phones. On Facebook, texting or sending out tweets to friends and followers. We gather up Friends and Followers as if they were a prize — the more the merrier. Liking the posts and comments made by Friends. Tweeting and retweeting. Facebook has made Liking almost mandatory if you want to keep seeing your Friends’ posts. So, it’s become a habit to Like a Friends post, just so they will stay visible.
Sadly, even I have been caught up in the frenzy on Facebook. When I first signed up with this new social media, it was to monitor my middle-school aged daughter, who pleaded with me to have an account when it became the rage. Then I let it go dormant for awhile after she came “of age”, but realized I could use it as a way to keep in touch with friends and family that were not close by. A way to communicate without having to spend money on postage. A way to peek into and follow their lives, where once I was not able. I made sure to limit my Friends (under fifty at first, then one hundred) to keep it manageable — so I could spend quality time visiting their pages, interacting. Later, I decided I could possibly use it as a tool in my business. I created a business page and began opening the doors to Friends in the writing and art world, and found I was collecting Friends of Friends, too — and then, even people I didn’t know directly or indirectly. I became Friends with total strangers, which is not a bad thing — if done with caution, and some have become good friends that I have met in person.
As time has passed, I found that I spent more time clicking on Like than commenting. I gave up on my Friend limit and am horrified to find that I have at least 226 Friends. I know some of those Friends are nearing four-digit numbers for friends (shudder). How on earth can we make personal interactions with so many? Somewhere along the line, personal interactions fell to the wayside. I guess I could justify the number by realizing a fairly high percentage are “business” contacts that don’t require constant visits, just an occasional nod of the head now and then. I do keep closer tabs on some of these business Friends. I need to go in and look to see just who I have as Friends and figure out how I’m going to keep a more personal connection with everyone.
I haven’t even begun to connect with the Twittersphere…I mean, I do have an account, but I’m not spending much time there. Just an occasional tweet here and there. I have a Pinterest account, too. Again, I’m having trouble justifying the time needed to keep it going.
For awhile, I tried to not just Like a post or comment, but rather take the time to interact. To make comments. And I did find it more enjoyable. But, as time has gone by, it has become exhausting due to the number of Friends I have. I’m finding myself slipping back into old habits — simply Liking a post or comment, rather than saying anything. At first, I justified it because I didn’t have anything to say, other than I liked what was said or posted…and why clutter up their page with meaningless conversation. Then, time became an issue. There’s so much to do (in my life outside of the digital world) and it seems like I have too many Friends to keep up the personal connection. Now, I’m almost back to square one and wondering what to do next.
It’s not just Facebook. I have a smart phone that gives me way too much access to everything…emails, Facebook, texting and of course, phone calling…guess I’m an old-fashioned kinda girl and all this technology is — well, daunting is the wrong word, but I’ll use it for now…it’s not like I feel like a ‘techno dinosaur’ with the technology. I know how to use it. How much do I want and or need to use it? Just how ‘in touch’ with the world do I want/need to be at a moments notice? Wouldn’t once or twice a day suffice?
Are you getting frustrated with the constant, easy-access of all the social media too? Let me hear from you. Tell me what you think.
So, for now I’m going to just let things settle for a bit, think about what’s happening and ponder over some choices. I need to stay ‘in touch’ because of the line of work I’m in, but to what degree? That’s what I’m going to need to decide.
Maybe I’ll just go back to the real world and do face-to-face connections. The old-fashioned way…
How do you handle all of this technology?