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Time to “Unplug”

September 6, 2012

After reading several disturbing comments posted to Facebook, Twitter,  and Blog Posts, I’ve reached a social conclusion.  Some folks don’t have a life, some folks definitely need to get one (a life that is), and flat out, we’ve become less of a social world despite the growth of social media.  How can something called “social” make you less “social”?  What do I mean?  Let me explain.

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How often have you gone somewhere, in person, whether it’s a meeting, sporting event, restaurant, shopping mall, store, amusement park, name a place, only to find people sitting, staring at their phones?  Typing on a keyboard rather than talking to the person right next to them?  You know what I’m talking about.  I see it every day in the stores, restaurants, airports, and other places I visit.  People not talking to each other, but making sure they are posting to their Twitter pages and Facebook pages.  Why?  During a recent meal, my wife actually asked me, what are you doing?  What I was doing at the time was reading recent posts while we were waiting for dinner to arrive.  Why? Because I can, because it’s so easy. 

I met with a good friend of mine who I haven’t seen in years.  This friend was so “socially” engaged, posting to their Facebook and Twitter page, “checking in” on Foursquare and Facebook, posting photos with Instagram, real conversation in person was boring, dry, dull.  They appeared so “witty” and “with it” socially, on line, they have taught themselves how to reply in 150 characters or less, they don’t know how to engage in person anymore.  I asked if they were going to put that thing away and the reply was, sure…in a minute.  Now, keep in mind we haven’t seen each other in years.  We’ve kept in touch via Twitter and Facebook.  I was really looking forward to dinner.  I came home in utter disappointment.  I wish this was rare, but it isn’t. It happens all the time, and yes, I’m guilty of it too.  I went to a highschool football game and most of the people sitting around me were staring at their iPhones rather than watching the game or talking with those next to them. 

There were two incidents recently that helped with my decision. I just read an article on Fox News this afternoon that “pushed me over the edge”.  The story is found here.  What’s the story about?  Here’s the headline: 

Australia’s ‘Top Model’ judge hospitalized after suicide attempt following Twitter abuse

Do you see where I’m going with this?  In a society where we should be more “social”, we’re actually becoming “anti-social”, and less social.  Look at any definition of “social”.  You’ll see that it means interacting with people, and believe it or not, we’re letting the face to face fall to the wayside as we become more social on line, from our living rooms and bedrooms and offices.  Why?  We’re developing mean streaks.  We’re hiding behind the anonymity of  the web, posting things we would probably never say in public, and to someone’s face.  Why?  Because we can.   The internet makes it too easy.  Cyber bullying is all the rage now.  Seeing how clever, mean clever you can be, is vitally important.  Can I get a laugh from those who “follow”?

Second incident?  The Nokia announcements for the new Windows Phone 8 devices.  Why?  Because rather than write about how cool software and hardware is getting with phones, rather than writing about what a great time it is to be involved in mobility because manufacturers like Nokia are doing really creative things, the iPhone and Android biggots crawled out of the woodwork and shot it all down. It even got so bad that they are combing through commercials for the new products looking for problems.  Really folks?   Is that all you got left? 

It’s become just like politics.  When you can’t say or do anything positive, when your own work, projects, accomplishments can’t speak for themselves, shoot down your opponent, and as the FoxNews article mentions above, drive some to attempt to end their lives.   See how important and “big” that makes you feel? Again, really folks?

So, the ending to this post.  I’m unplugging.  Why?  Because I can.  I’ve deactivated all of my online accounts.  LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Foursquare, Hootsuite, all of them.  I’m out.  I unloaded all of the social apps from my mobile phones.  I’m done.  My goal?  Become much more interactive with those around me.  Become much more engaging and caring to those that are closest and dearest to me, those SITTING RIGHT NEXT TO ME.  I heard an interview once with a popular icon, and they asked him why he didn’t use Twitter.  His response?  Would you let a complete stranger, someone you’ve never met or spoken to in person, call you and ask you what you’re doing?  That’s exactly what’s going on with Twitter, unless you mark it private, and Facebook, unless you’ve privatized your account.  Something to think about. I’m not sharing anything I say or do with complete strangers, and locking your profile making people email to see your posts isn’t the answer either.  Nothing personal to those I was engaging with online.  Do me a favor.  Email me, call me if you know my numbers, let’s get together in person, not online.  Those who don’t really care?  Well, I think I just proved my point.

I’ll chronicle over the next couple of weeks but I’ve already noticed something.  What am I going to do with my time now?  No posts or tweets to read, no check-ins to look at, no posts to see who’s “linked” to who anymore.  I’ll pick up a few hours a day for sure, and believe it or not, I haven’t been this excited.  I’ll actually get to keep my blog current (maybe).  I have to be careful I don’t substitute one bad habit for another.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 6, 2012 11:18 pm

    Great post, great thoughts and all so true! Everything is fine in moderation but there is such a fine line.. My biggest pet peeve is people talking or texting while driving… I really don’t get it? Seriously you cannot wait until you get to your destination or your be in the present moment for a drive without looking at your phone.. Not to mention it kills people.. Simple is just is simple.

    • johngormly permalink*
      September 7, 2012 6:35 pm

      Agreed. Don’t get me started on people I see trying to use the phone WHILE THE CAR IS MOVING. Really? It’s that important?

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