Monday, November 22, 2010

Social Media Overkill?

As I sit alone at my Mac on this bleak and icy November morning in a very quiet house, I never feel truly alone. I have my Facebook friends on chat and my LinkedIn and Twitter accounts to keep me company. Not to mention my e-mail accounts and my Droid phone resting on top of my printer with text messages coming in. In today's plugged-in world, one can never feel truly alone unless you decide to venture off into your day without your cell phone. Then you may feel quite naked and unsure of how to even face your day. I don't have this problem as I'm notorious for forgetting my phone at home or leaving it turned off. Having lived my first 30-some years without a cell phone, I'm quite comfortable without it. At times, it feels like a relief. A brief break from technology when no one can reach me.

We all know the person who is constantly on their iPhone or Blackberry texting away, checking their messages, and occasionally make a phone call. I've been bumped into by these folks and, unfortunately, others have had much worse experiences with drivers texting while driving their cars. That's taking the convenience of technology a bit too far. Use some common sense please . . . stop texting and driving before you kill someone!

Most of us have our Facebook friends, and what an amazing social media tool! (Even my mother has her own Facebook page.) I've noticed that my Facebook friends really break down into 3 groups:

  • Facebook Junkies. These heavy users seem to post every intimate detail of their life on their Facebook pages, consistently chime in to like or dislike something, and include lots of pictures (usually unedited) and links to favorite songs, videos, and obscure websites. They are truly Facebook Junkies who seem to have their Facebook on all of the time. Am I worried what this group thinks of my opinions on their Facebook habit? Not at all. They are too busy posting on Facebook right now to read this blog.
  • The Anti-Facebookers. This group has a Facebook account to keep tabs on their kid's Facebook pages or were under peer pressure to set up a Facebook page. They don't really quite get what all of the fuss is about, and one rarely hears from this anti-Facebook tangent.
  • The "I Have a Life Outside of My Facebook Page, Thank You" users. Most people seem to fall into this category, myself included. The average Facebook user logs on when they can, posts a thought or comment every now and then, wishes a Facebook friend a Happy Birthday, or downloads their vacation pictures into an edited album. They take healthy attitude toward Facebook. Life it just too busy for constantly posting comments on Facebook.

But who am I to criticize modern technology as I post my "adventures in suburbia" on this blog. Don't get me wrong, I love the convenience of technology and reaching out to all of you via this blog. I love that I've reconnected with old friends and keep in touch with them through Facebook. My cell phone with the Internet is very handy. But perhaps sometimes it's healthy to take a break from technology. 

Maybe someone will come up with a "technology-free" day. Should I go ahead and post that idea on my Facebook page?

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