… I am totally addicted!
So, I have made the decision to leave the world of social networking for a week. I often wonder how we lived our lives before Myspace then Facebook then Twitter came along. It’s everywhere you look! You can’t even watch your favourite T.V programme without being encouraged to Tweet about it. At times it drives me crazy. It’s completely taken over our lives. And more to the point, why do we think anyone cares what we have to say? Why do we feel the need to share every detail of our lives with every single person in our lives? The only conclusion I can come to about this is that it’s because we’re humans, we’re sociable creatures; we like to fit in and we like to feel part of something. Social networks give us that feeling of togetherness and of belonging to something more. It’s like a religion. It gives us the feeling that there is something bigger than ourselves and our lives. But has it gone too far? Are we now addicted to social networking?
For me it started with chat rooms. When I was a teenager there wasn’t such a thing as a social network sight, or at least not that I knew about. So chat rooms were the only thing out there for us. I was a frequent visitor of the Foo Fighters and Offspring chat rooms. I had a couple of pen pals from the chat rooms who I kept in touch with for a while. Then came along MSN messenger, then Myspace and Facebook. But I’m not sure when my total addiction started, probably with the advance of mobile phones. It’s all so instant now isn’t it?
It’s hard to get it out of your life. I have a Nokia Windows phone and I can’t even open my contacts list without it telling me peoples’ status updates. I turn on my computer and Spotify comes straight on, down the side of the screen there is a live update of what my Facebook friends are listening to. I have deleted the Facebook app off my phone but I still have the Internet Explorer box that I can click on and search for Facebook whenever I feel the need. How will I avoid that temptation?
So, this is me for the next week…no Facebook, no Twitter, no WordPress! I will not be uploading cute pictures of my child for the world to see; I will no longer show my friends pictures of my dinner or my glass of wine. Who will I share these details of my life with? Well, no one because no one really needs to know. Who knows, if this is a success I might try banishing Google next! Maybe.
While I’ve been doing this I’ve found that all the things I normally rant about in Facebook status updates have just stayed in my brain and gone over and over and over. I think I use Facebook like a diary; I share my frustrations, my joy, my experiences; I just happen to do it in a very public way. So I’ve rediscovered the art of diary writing. Why do I need to share my every thought with the world? Is it because I want people to agree with me? Am I that stubborn that I think I am right about EVERYTHING and fully believe the whole world should agree with me? I think the answer to that is ‘yes’, I do think I am right all the time, or at least most of the time. I don’t know why I am like this; it’s just the way I am and have been for 28 years, that’s not going to change now. And I also happen to quite like my life so I feel happy to share it with my friends. I am proud of my little girl and I want other people to be proud of her. I also think it’s a good way to keep in touch with my family and for them to have a look into my life.
I have to admit, I have missed updating my status and sharing my photos. When I’m bored I normally find myself on Facebook on my phone. I haven’t been able to do that so it’s been a bit weird. It’s like my thumbs are addicted to the action of opening the app. I have been texting a lot more! The kinds of things I normally share on Facebook I have been texting to people instead. The plan when I started this was to write down all the updates I would normally post then look back at them and decide whether they were really worth a status update in the first place. I can’t even remember any of them so they mustn’t have been that important.
My girlfriend has missed me from the world of Facebook. When she’s at work and I’m at home with the baby she can keep up with our day by checking Facebook. She can see what me and toddler have been up to and it makes her feel closer to us. I like that at Facebook. It makes you feel connected to people. I have family and friends live all over the place and the fact that I can be part of their lives via the computer makes me feel a little bit closer to them.
I think for now I need Facebook in my life. I probably always will. As much as reading other people’s crap sometimes winds me up, my baby related updates probably get on someone’s nerves too. I hate to admit it but I love social networking! I am glad it is here to stay!