Disconnecting to Re-Discover Life

Pamela doesn’t post much or often but I think she should,

Pamela's Write Life

I had intended to share another’s well-written post about how the explosive growth of social media has led to more actual disconnect in our lives, but the text wasn’t copied.
So I’ll jot down my own thoughts. They may not be expressed in a way that as many people will relate to, but here they are.
We sit in chairs, stretch out on sofas, lay across beds and stare, seemingly emotionless, at screens whilst online profiles are becoming more important than our real-life presence. Instead of yo-yos, balls, and little metal cars, children stay glued to tablets and iPhones and grow soft and inattentive to the here and now.
Our own, real selves are so beautiful, so deserving of attention, and we have so much to share. The sharing of it makes life livable. Yet the exponential growth of social media platforms slowly drains the life from our authentic selves.

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27 thoughts on “Disconnecting to Re-Discover Life

  1. I don’t know . . . I think social media gets blamed for a lot, but ultimately, it’s on us to know what it is we need/want.

    For instance, were it not for blogs — and to a much lesser extent, Facebook and Twitter — I would not know people from all around the world. I would not be sharing comments and ideas with people who have diverse and substantially different experiences — and consequently, viewpoints — than I do.

    The absence of social media would not — at least for me and likely many others —would not translate into more person-to-person connections; that’s been a fairly steady quantity throughout my life; I know a lot of people and I am friends with a couple at most. I have one real-life friend aside from my wife who has been my constant friend since we met. In fact, I have more people I consider friends online than I do in real life. Sure, it’s a different dynamic, but one that suits me.

    I’ll let you in on a secret . . . personal interaction can be rewarding, but — per my experience — comes with more baggage/cost than benefits. Every person you meet and get to know is a potential source of worry, especially for someone who empathizes and is driven to solve problems. It would be different if everyone I met was carefree and self-assured and confident and independent, but even then they would probably already have friends and would not be looking for more.

    Ultimately, I reject the idea that technology owns us. No doubt, it may be true for some, but that is a matter of awareness and self-examination. Besides, the same can be said about jobs, family, and people in our physical sphere. Try curtailing those interactions as easily as one can curtail online interactions and commitments.

    For example, if I get burned out — if anyone gets burned out — I can say I’m taking a month, or three months, or a year off from the internet and people will nod and say things like “we’ll be here when you get back.” They may or may not be, and some may still keep in touch through e-mail, but it’s seldom a big drama thing. Aside from making sure nothing bad is going on, most people will wish me well and tell me to enjoy the break.

    Try doing that with a job, with family, with social obligations to people you have contact with in your daily life.

    Personally, I think kids and younger generations are forming a different dynamic than we may be used to, but the same was said of the phone versus writing letters. Then of e-mails, then of texts, and so on. But, one can either accept new avenues of interactions or lament a time that is not coming back.

    I tell you, though . . . I get more hugs in the virtual world than I do hugs in the real world. By a very long shot. And if I real hugs went away (other than from one person) I would not feel like I’d lost anything.

    . . . I can do handshakes, but I’m much more of a . . .

    . . . person, only not as creepy; more casual like, almost disinterested.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m just replying to the original post. Not sure what compliments I would fish for, nor what bait I might use.

      Suffice it to say, I’m already awash with more compliments than I’m comfortable with.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well I’m pleased that you’ve taken the trouble of giving Pamela your usual long winded comment plus a video. She’s just starting to come out of her shell after being somewhat sick for a couple of years or so and starting to enjoy life again

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I did not leave the comment at her site because I don’t know her and was unsure how she would take my comments. I also dispensed with my usual charming and caustic wit as that might be misinterpreted by them not familiar with the goodness that is me.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I can display rather caustic wit, too, though I’ve not done so lately and may be a bit rusty. When I worked at a newspaper, I was called abrasive by a source, but I was not fond of her either, so it was all fine. Rather fun, you know. The hostility kept them on their toes. Not a problem. If I simply cannot take interaction on a particular day, I just stay away until I can.

          Liked by 1 person

    2. Hello! I have read your back-and-forths with M’Lord Beari for awhile. Thank you for commenting on this post he kindly re-blogged.

      You’re right–it is about awareness, and about outside elements such as technology owning us. And I also know there are new dynamics for new generations. But it is also worthwhile to point out the cloud of distraction that is descending on many. I don’t mean just interacting online in a meaningful way, but blind, mindless preoccupation with virtual time sucks.

      But again, that is a choice. Pointing it out may make some think. Chances are, though, that it also may annoy those who already do think.

      I have no real-life friends around me. There is one woman I’ve known for most of my life whom I love. She lived many states away from me now with her family, but Facebook lets us stay in touch. I am certainly not touchy-feely, but I do love hugs from my cat friends.

      All in all, I think we mostly share a similar viewpoint on this subject. I’m glad you took time to comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, sorry to hear you’ve been following my exchanges with ElBob. You have to excuse him, you know. Being Brittish leans him toward the opinion that he’s entitled to stuff and thus things can occasionally get heated, especially when he delusionally claims ownership of the English language or when he gets all sanctimonious about this or that thing.

        Seriously, though, we tend to judge most things based on our own experience and the first instinct is to assume others are doing it wrong. There are people I know that I wish would immerse themselves more into the expanse that is the Internet, and I know others who I wish would broaden their focus when they are on the Internet, but ultimately it’s not much different than reading or watching TV. We (the royal we) used to make fun of people who would get hooked on soaps, but if that’s what they like, why not?

        Also, that word, distraction . . . one could argue we need distractions more and more to counter a world that is seemingly going to a hot place in a woven container. That doesn’t necessarily mean unaware but even if it does, again, why not? It’s not like we’re investing centuries into this life. For most, it’s decades, and even then, half of those decades are spent trying to figure out what we want and who we are.

        I could sit here right now castigating myself for wasting time on the Internet as opposed to writing or helping bring peace in the Middle East, but why put that burden on myself? Especially, why demand it of others? After all, we are barely qualified to judge when something is too much relative to what we do; I don’t think we can objectively judge what others are doing too much of or too little of anything. Especially when in the midst of major shifts in how we interact and communicate with each other.

        Taking my case again — self-centered as I am — there is no possible good reason explaining why I waste precious hours of what little life I have left to interact with a man half a world away. I suppose I could claim it as an obligation toward educating my fellow humans, but really, it’s just that he’s been shown to be particularly susceptible to being needled. For me, it’s mindless entertainment. I mean that literally. I often have to put my brain on park when interacting with ElBob.

        As for commenting on your piece, it was a good read and made me think (I had to take my brain out of the storage unit to read your piece — I had placed it there just before clicking on the link for ElBob’s blog) and that’s what sparked the reply. By the way, I’m not claiming I’m right about anything I say; I’m just looking at it a different way. There’s probably a large amount of gray area when it comes to human behavior, but I don’t have the feeling that the Internet is detrimental to either the human condition or human interactions. In some cases, yes, but overall? Tough call. We’ll know in about a hundred years or so, but by then, we won’t care.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Indeed. I am glad you had to pull your brain out of storage. All viewpoints welcome. I may have come across as sanctimonious or self-righteous, and if so, that was definitely not my intention. I seek to leave all judgment behind, and I know nothing. But I do appreciate hearing from interesting, thoughtful people who say what they mean. Wit is most welcome. I need to be exposed to more of it. I’ve grown rusty. Thank you for taking time to respond, and for posing thought-provoking points. People like you keep me grounded.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Don’t give him too much prise Pamela; he’s obnoxious enough as it is :twisted:. but we can’t do with out him, we need him for our twisted barbs. (that’s the Royal ‘we ‘ & ‘our’ – me being of the nobility as you noticed the other day ) 👿 😀 🐻 🐱 he hates smileys 😉

          Liked by 1 person

        3. @Pamela Your piece was fine and it didn’t come across as sanctimonious or self-righteous and it was worth reading.

          I’m not sure I want the mantle of keeping anyone grounded . . . that seems like a huge responsibility. Plus, were I to accept such mantle, who would keep me grounded?

          Why, I’d become a spewer of imagined half-truths and rambling self-serving proclamations. I mean, even more so than currently . . . I’d then have to move to Australia.

          Liked by 1 person

        4. @ElBob . . . careful how you drop comments in there. without identifying the recipient, it could be misconstrued.

          Also, what may look like praise to you is just civil conversation. Besides, as you know, I’m not fond of receiving praise . . . one of the reasons I keep coming back here.

          Liked by 1 person

All comments appreciated and acknowledged

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