DISCLAIMER – This is written over a weekend where I have left Social Media for a few days. The essay you see will be posted to Facebook and Twitter via an automated feature in WordPress in order to reach readers.
In a relatively short period of time, Social Media has reignited the flames of the information age. The fires of information that constantly surround us are hotter than ever. As individuals, many of us have become more dependent in reaching out to the universe using customizable platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Business has seen the advantages of connecting with clients, colleagues and competition looking through these windows to the world.
Facebook alone has reconnected old friends, helped many find new ones, and raised the profiles of everything from restaurants to rag mags. It is an evolution like no other. Facebook has become a brilliantly customized virtual reality of news. You can read people’s stories, or pass over them and on to someone elses if you feel like it. The experience can be yours to enjoy.
Like any information revolution, there comes a few pitfalls. Although if you were to add them all up, most of the social media pitfalls are minimal.
I make a point to mention every so often that I no longer bother with much of the news. If I want news I will go and find it. My news wants and needs now revolve around the arts, and the occasional sports score. Sometimes part of this is because there is too much negativity on the news. This is in part to the horrendous delivery and a lack of significant class in journalism. American television news outlets in particular have has a tremendously sad influence on what appears on Canadian television and radio. The few journalists who possess sound and smooth deliveries are getting lost in between broken-record robotic-reading reporters.
Everyone with a Social Media Account of some kind knows that there are some people who do nothing but constantly put out negativity constantly. Yet, like the television news, we can always turn that feed completely off if we want to.
However, we might be inclined to read that persons’ stories because chances are perhaps we know them. We might care about their struggles and want to be the supporting shoulder they are looking for. When a status on Facebook or a chirp on Twitter hits close to home, we may feel compelled to respond in order to show support.
As much as I enjoy Social Media for many reasons, once in a while I have concluded that walking away from it for a few days is a perfectly blissful way to get yourself back into your own world.
WHY THIS WORKS
My reasoning for leaving the Social Media Grid was in part to focus on writing, reading and relaxation. Having the focus of knowing I want to accomplish something this weekend away from reading stats and tweets is a positive drive forward. When I return to the grid in a few days, my mind will feel refreshed and refocused. Because those few minutes of Social Media Browsing have been instead spent on other things, I have reminded myself of the importance of doing your own thing.
This strategy of occasional Social Media Abandonment works. Because it turns the focus away from the universe, and back on to you.
My suggestion is try a weekend away from it. Spend any online time you have writing an e-mail to someone you haven’t heard from in a while. Look up something comedic on YouTube. Play a game that might challenge your mind.
Or pick up a book and give the classic exercise of page turning a try.
William (Dann) Alexander is a Freelance Writer and the Author of Planned Unparenthood Creating a Life Without Procreating, available worldwide at many online book retailers.