July 2, 2010

Are you a Twit if you Twitter?

Before I begin, I understand the great things that Twitter offers and I don't think you ARE a twit if you twitter (I just loved the way that title sounded). I do, however, believe that technology can be used for good and evil.

Okay. I'll admit I do not get too impressed with technology. I don't even own a cell phone. I just bought a microwave and a new cordless phone. I have my clock radio from my teens still (and it still works fine). I wouldn't say I have old views or am stodgy in any way, but I don't feel the need to be available 24/7 or report on everything I do. I promise, when I do something really big, I'll report it. 

So when my sister suggested I get on Facebook because of all the great things it offers, I took her word for it because she is a big wig in the provincial government in social media.

I thought Facebook was full of people reporting on their every move. I also thought FB was basically narcissistic and took time away from being with real people and cultivating real relationships.

So I tried it. Let's just say I lasted for about a month and I had to get off of it. I was looking for some sincere, real, personal connections and all I got was the equivalent of a limp and clamy handshake from a used car salesman.  Since I didn't know how to terminate my account, I just submitted my final farewell and logged off.

My initial judgements were realized. I was requested to be a friend to people I hardly knew and from those who didn't even like me in the past. After accepting a new friend, all I got was post after post about their daily life. "Just driving to the campground" or "Had a great run today". Without appearing disrespectful....Who the heck cares what you did or are doing???????? Are we that self-important that we have to report everything we are doing? When did this kind of news become newsworthy?  And when did collecting "friends" become a pastime???

I understand that social media can be a positive addition to your life. However, the way it is used right now (and only based upon my own experience for one month) I do not see this as a healthy use of the medium.
If we were to spend the time we spend on twitter and facebook and the texting on something meaningful like volunteering, writing a book, or playing with our kids and family do you think we would be happier? Do you think we would be less time crunched? Perhaps it is our value systems and what we choose to do with our free time that is the cause because the old excuse "I have no time!" 

I hear "I'm so stressed", "Things are so crazy around here!" and the like from people who sit on their computers and FB or who sit in front of the TV all night......perhaps it is the same technology we are embracing and addicted to that is one of the major causes of obesity, poor nutrition, sedentary lifestyle, and the divorce rate? I'm sure it isn't...but I'm just saying. How much time do you spend in front of a screen during your leisure time?

I have to say, thanks to this blog I am now able to vent my frustrations and am loving this social media experience. The only problem is I don't believe it is too social when no one comes to visit.

Get up! Get real! Get moving!

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