So, there’s something that’s been eating away at me lately and maybe it’s because I have no friends here (we've recently moved to a small island in the Caribbean) so I’m spending more time looking at my ‘friends’ on Instagram and Facebook. I’m gradually coming to the realization that I may need to quit the forum of social media altogether.
I used to tell myself I needed it for work but now I don’t work.
I used to tell myself it was good free advertising but I’m not sure that’s true.
Really the bottom line is, “feeds” on social media take me out of life experience.
I answer the questions of Grace (my daughter) or Lincoln (my son) in a half-hearted monosyllabic way when I’m looking at social media. They surely must be getting the message that when I’m looking at Facebook or Instagram, it is more important to me then they are in that moment.
So so sad.
Another fact I have to face about social media is that I’m addicted to it.
Yes, the articles are true (just Google “social media is bad for you” and you’ll find hundreds there). Unfortunately, I am genuinely interested in who “likes” my posts. I scrutinize my posts and the posts of others and usually, ultimately end up feeling worse about myself.
Social media literally sucks life from me…like those dementors from Harry Potter. I look up from my phone and discover that an hour has passed. An hour wasted. If you could throw time in the trash, this is the most effective way to do it. Sure I can rationalize it later, telling myself that I gleaned so much knowledge about an expert’s thoughts on such and such or that the instructional video was so very valuable.
Really, it’s bullshit.
The way to self-knowledge is through life experience right?
Surely our own experience of life tells us this.
A big thing that sickens me about my addiction to social media is that more often than usual I think, “Ooooo that would make a good picture to post on Instagram.” Or, “That would be a cool thing to write on Facebook.”
But who is it really for?
Them? All my ‘followers’? (i.e. the strangers and acquaintances who on a whim clicked on my ‘follow’ button once upon a time)...
Is it for me then? So that I can add purpose and value to my existence?
In the words of Yoda, “Search your feelings Luke”…
I’m seeking approval for my life and actions from outside myself. This is a philosophical point and an important one.
I can delude myself and be evangelical about it and say that I’m doing it to better our world; to educate more people than I could possibly reach personally about my amazing:
way of being or;
lighthearted outlook on life or;
yogic secrets or;
Really if I want to “be the change I want to see in the world” (a la Ghandi) I’d get off the frickin’ screens.
But, what about that point about how great social media is at keeping in touch with family and friends overseas?
“Life’s short. Call now” Says Jimmy Buffett.
Unfortunately due to the development of social media I now fear the telephone and never call my family (well, except at Christmas or birthdays)… after all if they want to know how I’m doing then they can check my Facebook feed!
Call me a cynic but I’m witnessing my experience of life dwindle into a screen, a virtual world which is void of any human touch or “real” connection.
Yet, like a true addict though, I will probably continue to make excuses for myself about how it serves me and I’ll probably check Instagram in a minute and post a link to this piece of writing on Facebook.