Disconnecting from Social Media

The Middle

As I realized that I did not need my cell phone or Facebook to connect I became scared. I felt as though removing myself from social media was equal to disconnecting myself from the world around me. I did not know exactly why I was fearful but I realized that I needed to take a closer look at the world that I was apparently “connecting” with. I did not know it yet, but in the end I would not view life any differently; I would just notice things that were missing.

This journey, this closer look, began by me listening to my parents for the first time. I stopped sitting on the couch, eating their food, watching their TV and I went outside. When I was younger I had heard of tales, from the older generation, of how they were the king of the basketball court or how they would sit on the corner and all the honeys who walked by would melt at their ice cold pick up lines. After I pondered how honey, already in a liquid state, could be melted by something as cold as ice, I went in search of these fabled courts and corners.

What I found confused me. There was nobody outside and when I returned back home, I asked an a man, from the older generation, where everybody had disappeared to. He looked me in the eyes, shook his head, and told me that they were gone. He told me how, when he was my age, the streets were filled with kids playing baseball and now they were empty. He told me of a local park, once the center of the neighborhood children’s activities, now forgotten and overtaken with weeds. He told me of how he asked his grandson to go outside and play and the child looked up, bewildered.

What he told me was merely a confirmation of what I had already known but refused to admit. What I had already feared but refused to address. By primarily connecting through cell phones, Facebook, and other social utilities, I am really just disconnecting myself from the world and people around me. I am continuously trading personal and physical interactions for those conducted online and over the phone. By trying to be intimate with strangers and the world, I am losing touch with the people and the city around me.

Facebook and other online social mediums are correct when they market themselves as social utilities that connect but only because they first requires us to disconnect.

To be continued…

    • Ms. FB addict
    • February 10th, 2010

    Trust me this whole idea of “connecting online” robs you of true human interaction. I once attended a cocktail hour and had nothing to talk about with a few guests. They had all read my fb status that morning about my upcoming trip to Florida and knew of my last trip to DC went because of the photo album I had posted a few days prior. It was totally strange because conversation felt forced and fake in the beginning. They knew everything about me that they wanted know and vice-versa; I seemingly knew everything going on with them. Maybe there are things we should learn about in real time, the old-fashion way, by talking face to face.

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