Taking A Break From Social Media And News Media

Last week I was forced into taking a sabbatical from social media and the news media and the Internet in general due to a modem that quit working. The cable company sent us a new one and it would not work and so a technician had to come out and get things fixed.  This meant days of no Internet, no social media and no news media. And what a glorious thing that turned out to be.

I came to realize that taking a break made me sleep better, reduced my anxiety, took away any anger I might feel about those playing such games today and just made my few days so nice. Right now I am still ignoring the media and refuse to talk about what is going on.

I truly recommend that everyone take a break from social media, news media, the Internet for a few days and see how it affects you. If someone is truly addicted to it, they will have anxiety but the longer they go just like coming off drugs, the anxiety will lessen.

I got so much accomplished those days we had no Internet. Paper work that was stacked on my table here was completed. A thirty page set of papers the new pain specialist wants filled out that I just did not want to do was completed and the list goes on. It is amazing how much we can get done and still have time to relax when there is no Internet.

This was an article that came across my Facebook feed this morning and it is about taking a break from social media and news media, etc only this man calls it a blockade. He told his friends, family, etc he did not want to hear about it and went about life as if it did not exist. I am not sure that anyone could go for months and months like this but it is refreshing to not have all that in one’s face all the time. I make no claim on this article or newspaper, just sharing for educational purposes.

So, maybe try a few days with no Internet or social or news media and see how you do. I admit the first day I would turn on my computer and of course nothing came on and then realized I was doing an old habit. Now, I may glance down the news feed but not click on anything or look briefly down the Facebook feed but that is about the extent. All the hate and anger and maliciousness going on is bad for the heart and I want the peace that God gives me.

Being Accountable For Oneself

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I woke up this morning and was reading the news and again I see more protests. Thankfully, this is a peaceful protest but it is a sign of the times. There is a distance between people all over. People are hurting, angry, and feel no one is listening. I find it all sad but what I find even sadder is that people are becoming detached to others in general and I personally think social media has encouraged this and encouraged people to post hate and racism on the internet thinking they are hiding behind a screen.

I read an article about social media and how for adults, it has become like high school again. There are cliques and high school behavior all over the place. Friends and loved ones have now become an expendable commodity. It is an attitude of distance and if someone makes you mad, throw them away. If someone “more entertaining” comes along, people toss the one that has been loyal and there for them because someone else entertains them more. There seems to be little staying ground with friendship. Friendship has become expendable and people have forgotten what being a real friend really is.

Do you remember high school where you had the “cliques” that people formed and if you were not part of their group, they had nothing to do with you or were mean to you. There was bullying, manipulating, and people thought it was acceptable to do this. I had a schoolmate I talked to one time in the past few years and she said “I was so mean to you in high school and now I feel bad about it.”  Took forty years but she now feels bad about it. Fortunately for me, I am a strong person and did not carry hate or anger for these types of things but it does give a glimpse of how we have become the society we have. And I think about the kids who were not strong, we felt bullied and hurt and some even resorted to suicide.

I have been bullied, mistreated, lied to and used in the past but I have been blessed with a forgiving nature and the belief that love is something precious, family is something precious and friends are something precious and you do not throw them away or take them for granted. Yes, I have had and still have people who toss me aside like I am expendable, only to try to keep a line attached just enough that if they need you, you are still there. But, there comes a point where you tear the blanket and severe the relationship because it is not a healthy relationship.  I do not break the relationship easily and try to keep the line of communication open until that day I realize that the person I thought was such a good friend really never was.

Now, to translate that to the world today. People use social media like high school even when they are adults and middle-aged and up. They feel like the more “friends” they have on their FB makes them the most popular and it is like a power trip to them. I keep my FB small on purpose. I distinguish between friends and acquaintances and so keeping my FB small means I have the time to give to those I say I love. This is especially important considering my health is not good and I have limited energy to give.

So, if you look around the world and around the world of social media, you will see how people play people against each other, use them to get whatever it is that they want or need in life emotionally or physically and how what appears to be friendship online is very seldom what you think it is. Hold tight to those that really love you for one day you may wake up and realize those hundreds of people who are on your FB really do not even know you. And the ones that you tossed away or misused were the true friends.

People fight for attention just like high school kids did and for being the “teacher’s pet” only on social media it is being the one that gets the most attention. Ask yourself how many times you have become very friendly with someone on social media only to have tossed them later to move on to someone else and how many people have you hurt that you can not make up for the hurt you did to them.

Now, lets take that on to the world. There is a divide among people. People use social media to get even with people, to show their prejudice against certain people, to make fun of people, to get attention when they want it from people but there is no real connect  with so many for they do not know what friendship is. And what is not right is allowed even when reported on social media. Some people just play the game that is like being in a program where you build your own home and life only the program is called acting like a high school kid on a social media platform. And yet, these same people use this attitude on social media in life and the hate, racism, manipulation, etc goes on in real-life.  Maybe it is time to put down the smart phones, and start living real-life. Look at those around you without that smart phone that have cared for you and loved you only to be ignored or abandoned and ask yourself why you allowed a social media platform to rule your life and affect how you treat others.

We have got to change the world starting from our life outward. We have got to be accountable for ourselves and our actions and we have got to quit using love as a commodity. The end result will be people begin “ripping the blanket” to separate themselves from  you. We can not change the hate and racism and tension in the world if we do not change ourselves first.

We have only one life to live here. This is not a dress rehearsal nor are there any retakes. We have to work to get it right while we are here whether it is five years, ten years, forty years or 100 years. If we are accountable then maybe we can help others be accountable.

The Largest Social Experiment Of The Century

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Another sleepless night in the Rockies and so I lay here thinking. Son always tells me that it could be dangerous. LOL  Seriously, I do some of my best thinking when I am laying here in the quiet with the fan blowing and the only glow of light is my monitor here beside my bed. And this is no exception.

Have you all ever considered that we have all been part of the largest social experiment ever? Think about it. Facebook comes onto the scene and everyone thinks it is wonderful. I mean where else can you have 656 friends, post pictures all day long and tell when you are going to the bathroom for the world to know?  So, everyone rushes to get a Facebook page. And slowly our privacy has been removed and our information put out there for the world to see. Oh yeah, at first people complained, threatened to leave etc….at least the first or second time it happened. Now, people take it as nothing to worry over. I hear “I have nothing to hide” until I want to just scream. Now the primer is set.

Progress into the fancier Iphones and other types of fancy cell phones with Apps and it seems people can not even carry on their lives without a tablet or cellphone in their hands and talking into a camera. I watched several videos of people with new babies spending more time talking into their camera than they did live to their baby. So, we progress on to more and more Apps until each one is a “social” app. Why, now there is a new app out that is a meat thermometer to use when you are grilling. You plug it into your Iphone or fancy cellphone and then stick it in the meat and it connects you to all your friends so you can see who else is grilling and share pictures with them and talk about what you are cooking. Why not just ask people over to eat for dinner? What has happened to face to face contact?

Now the primer is in motion and we are all accustomed to disclosing all our information, everything about our lives from when we go to the bathroom, to sleeping, to sex, to where we go to doctors and hospitals and you name it. And then here comes the big scandal of the NSA and our privacy being violated. Five years ago, people would have screamed and demanded that Eric Holder be replaced and the problems fixed pronto. Today, after all of our indoctrination of “just accepting” that loss of privacy is ok, nothing is done. And we are the laughing-stock of the world. But wait, maybe we can take our meat apps that hook into our Iphones and into our roasts on the grill and have a protest? No, no, that will not work because we have already given away all our info, and with the meat app, people know where we live and what we are eating. Besides that, a protest by Iphone does not sound very dramatic does it.

Of course, take a look at the news anymore. I turned on the tv this morning to catch the morning news and it was like watching a variety talent show with everything but news. Why do I want to watch arm wrestling on the news or see demonstrations of makeup, etc? #Brian Williams seems to be the only professional newsman left. He presents the news without emotionalism or sensationalism and reminds me of Walter Cronkite. Are we so desensitized that we think we can not just hear the news but must have entertainment and a variety show to hear it?

It is starting to feel a little like “The Truman Show” with Jim Carrey where his life was a TV show only he did not know it and all the people around him including his parents were actors.. People talk about video games and the violence and how they have desensitized our children but think nothing about how we have been desensitized to think that we do not need our privacy anymore. I often wonder do they even realize that this is one right gone. Freedom of speech is being stepped on right now. Will it be the next right to disappear? Or will people just start saying “Oh, I am not worried. I have nothing to SAY”?

Have we been duped into thinking that our lives are nothing but 24 hour Youtube videos for all the world to see and that everyone needs to know everything there is to know about us? Is Hippa becoming obsolete? Is living in a “free country” obsolete? Have we been part of the largest social experiment of the century?