I was speaking on the phone with a close friend a few days ago and I remarked that her blackberry messages were not delivering; she laughed and told me she had turned off her BIS. “why? I asked her. “I want to get off social media, I’m fasting social media”. I laughed and we moved on to other matters but much later in the day I found myself pondering the conversation and thinking, “how can this person not be on Facebook and BBM? Is it even possible? And then I asked myself the same questions and I’m not sure I liked the answers I saw on the inside of me.
I mean I wasn’t sure if I could stay off Social media permanently. How can I not do Facebook? Twitter? BBM? Google? WordPress? Blogger? and on and on… and that’s when it hit me, right between my eyes! I had been bitten by the social media bug and I had slowly but surely become an addict. I have always hated addictions of any kind, I like my freedom and hate to be controlled by things I cannot control, I hate to feel like I do not have options in any situation but surely I had unwittingly sold my options to social media?
How did this happen? How did I allow myself to become addicted to social media? When did this happen? What were the early symptoms and could I have stopped it? Can I get out now if I want to? But bigger than any of those questions is the one that set my heart racing; would I want to get off social media? even for a period, say, one year? And I mean all social media, everything. Resort to calling people and visiting and writing notes and letters. sending real cards for birthdays and Christmas and anniversaries. Making a trip rather than using Skype; missing someone in a true fashion and wishing they were here. Enjoying the excitement of someone showing up that I’ve neither seen nor heard from in months or even years. Just the feeling of being totally human again without any of these aids that cripple our humanness without us realizing it.
I joined Facebook in 2008 and since then I have kept up with my friends and family across the globe, celebrated births, deaths, victories, triumphs, failures and all without any physical touch, but suddenly I’m here thinking, “has this become a new drug? can we all survive without social media? The world has become a global village indeed but in the process what has happened to the human beings that used to inhabit the old earth? Sigh!