Look Up

Monday, May 5, 2014


If you haven't watched this video, please do. If you have, what are you doing on your computer?

I struggle daily with the fear of missing out. As a journalist, I pride myself on being up on the news. I tell Cam all the time I think I wanted to become a journalist because I'm nosy and like knowing things before other people.
When we finally got back to the US after our honeymoon, the first thing I did was turn on my phone and start scrolling through the week of posts I missed. After three days worth of posts, it wouldn't scroll anymore so I shut down the app and start again. And again. And again. It just wouldn't go any further! I was so frustrated. I missed so much while I was gone, I just knew it. Who was fighting with who? Any new relationships, engagement, babies I needed to know about? Maybe I should just start going through my friends list (646 people) and click on each one to see what they did over the week...
How pathetic is that?
I am stuck. I remember a time before cellphones. The computers dialed up and the TVs weren't high definition. Sure I didn't know what my family in Georgia wasn't doing on a daily basis, but time was so precious. I'd run around the neighborhood with friends, beg my mom to let me join them on a bike ride to the pool around the corner, stay out until the sun went down and hurry home because I had to be there before the light was on...or else.
When did I become so disconnected?
Ironically, my disconnect spawned because of a connection to technology. The phone glued to my hand at all hours and the need to flip open my laptop the second I get home from work.
What if I miss something?
The world will keep turning and life as I know it will go on. But life, it seems to me, exists in another world. A world that exists behind these idiotic screens we spend our days staring at. This blog is great, I love looking back and reading my old posts and remembering those old times. I love scrolling through my Facebook timeline to see the stupid things my friends and I would post on each other's walls in high school.
But how much is too much?
When we got engaged, I was so frustrated that I wasn't able to change my relationship status on Facebook from my phone (two years ago it wasn't available on their app-that has since changed). When my step-cousin had her baby, the first thing I did was not respond to the text from my aunt, but instead post a congratulations on her Facebook page. As soon as we left our reception to head to the airport after the wedding, I got on my phone to change my last name and post a status of thanksgiving to all our guests.
Will it ever end?
I think I've finally hit my breaking point. My addiction is real. It has become a hindrance in my life and is affecting my every day. I learned enough in my abnormal psychology class to know that something is truly problematic when it affects basic functioning of day-to-day living. Social media/technology has done that to me.
How do I stop it?
Baby steps. Two weeks ago Cameron brought me flowers for no reason at all. I thanked him and pulled out my phone to Instagram them. I stopped. Maybe I needed to savor this and cherish it as a private moment. Did I need to share our every moment? The answer was a quick and easy "no" making my decision not to post it simple. The picture is on my phone, but it's for me to delight in.
Where is the balance?
The decision I'm struggling with now is am I able to create a balance between my want to connect and disconnect. Am I strong enough to delete my Facebook account? I love pictures, so is keeping my Instagram okay? What about this blog? I have no idea.

All I really know is that I'm a little lost at this point in the Internet. If it was physically possible to be sucked into your computer, I feel like I probably would have been a long time ago.

2 comments:

  1. I think the fact that you know it's affecting your life is a really good start. I've also found myself in that predicament. I make a conscious effort to not post everything the second it happens - and it can be really hard not too. But I've gotten better over it with time. What worked for me was - deleting my facebook account. You can still recover everything from it if you want to come back to it, so I was "offline" for two weeks. I kept my blog/twitter/instagram but I removed the apps from my phone.
    It was really hard to break the 'grab my phone and look' mode when I had really nothing to look at. I also really saw how much I was doing that. It takes up a lot of your life and once I realized how much more I could do & how little those things really added to my day to day life (not necessarily the interaction but just the 'snooping') I was able to manage the time I spend on them in a much healthier way. It may not work for you, but maybe it's an option? Cold turkey for a week. See how it goes. Notice how much more time you have & in that time do something you love - write more, read more, take a nap! I think once you've given them up for sometime you'll have a better itme finding the balance. Or at least that's how it was for me.

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    Replies
    1. I agree! When something happens I automatically think, "I should totally make a Facebook status/tweet/Instagram this!" instead of just living that moment and enjoying it for myself. I seriously wonder (but am scared to know) how much time I spend online. I don't think I wanna know cuz I think I'd probably hate myself for it but I know I'm losing to much in real life time because of it!

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