I hate the phrase,”when I was on my mission,” because usually it leads to some story that doesn’t feel that genuine (maybe I should quit judging), that being said, on my my mission we were limited to technology. I had no idea of what Facebook was, or how awesome texting is, or any other innovative technology. When I came home I was flabbergasted by the number of headphones in people’s ears. Everyone was plugged in. No one really interacted – head down, texting it up. It seemed that people didn’t want to be involved with others – directly. Even now people, me included, are saturated in social media. Friends can see your location, who you are with, what you’re listening to, what pictures you just took, it’s endless. The weird thing is that you’re in trouble if you didn’t see that “funny picture” or read that “funny tweet” your friend posted.
Now, what I’m saying isn’t new. There have been countless others, academics, social influencers, critics, etc who have articulated a much more in depth thought and argument. This topic has been on my mind for some time because social media is how the world communicates. It’s impossible to ignore, or so it seems. There is instant gratification and approval given in these outlets, but are these avenues creating a bigger problem?
To me, the problem comes when out of habit, to just keep my self busy, or shield myself from real human interaction, I hoist up my iPhone in defense. I have no idea how I learned this tactic. I can’t really remember someone telling or showing me that technology, the cell phone, the earphones, is the perfect solution to not feel alone, make new friends, or feel humanly connected. Technology, while world changing and very beneficial, has retarded my growth as a human.
I talked with my older brother about this feeling I had of disconnect with the human race. He told me to go on a social media fast, he promised me that I would feel liberated. It lasted just six hours. I was so upset with myself. I had no self discipline. I had forgotten self mastery. Maybe I’m being dramatic, but I did feel like a failure. I couldn’t say no to that damn blue bird.
So, starting tomorrow, the 27th of September, I will be going on a social media fast. I am not telling you this to sound cool (after all this idea wasn’t mine), but rather as a form of accountability. Goals are often not reached because we do not write them down. I will not get on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for 30 days. Black out. I will be back on the 27th of October, and I will let you know what I find.