Dear Social Media Butterflies,
Once upon a time, long, long ago, telephones were used to communicate with others. If you were lucky, you had the luxury of using a cordless phone to make your calls. And if you were really on the ball, you could roam around town chatting on a 10 pound device similar in size to a cinderblock- known as a cellular phone. No land line necessary. Ahh, those where the good old, pre-historic, app-free days of civilization. Life was much simpler then. Phones were used to make…. (drum roll)… phone calls. You couldn’t check e-mail, take a picture, play Farmville, update Facebook or Twitter, or even send a text message. My, have times changed!
Apparently, someone thought it would be a great idea for us to be plugged into everybody and their mama at the drop of a dime… ’cause having to wait more than 5 seconds to send or retrieve a message was just absurd. Clearly, our society has so much to say that we need to be able to say it 24/7. How on earth did we survive before the advent of all this social media and wireless communication? Do we really have that much to say?
Oh, but of course we do! What we update, post, text, and send is an extension of who we are… or is it? Perhaps it’s more of an extension of who we’ve become: an egocentric society in need of LIKES, followers, and notifications in order to feed the bottomless pit of our tech-addicted social self-esteem. Yes, we’ve got a lot to say. And here’s what many of us are really saying:
1. To our Employers- “My status updates are far more important than whatever it is you’re paying me for.” Are you getting paid to work or to play? I double-dog dare you to add up all the hours of your work week that you spend using social media (not including your lunch breaks). How cool would it be if you left the office on time every now and then- so you could spend more QT with the family you’re “working” so hard to support? Might you be more productive at work if you spent more time… working? Just a thought.
2. To our Dates and Friends- “My Cyber Pals are far more interesting than you right now.” Social media has infected modern society with anti-social virus. There is no cure in sight for this pandemic outbreak. It amazes me how often I see groups of people tweeting and typing while dining- and completely ignoring their party! They’ll post play-by-play updates of everything they’re doing in an attempt to elicit a comment, “LIKE”, retweet, or mention from a group of people who could more than likely care less. SMH. Why bother to go on a date or hang out with others if you’re just going to talk on the phone or send messages to your “imaginary friends” (as my husband likes to call them. Lol. SIDE NOTE: Do you really have 4,782 friends? Like, is that even possible?)? While you’re busy LOL’ing, your date is busy wondering why the tech they went out with you in the first place. If the call or message is that important, kindly excuse yourself from the table (you’re not fooling anybody by texting under the table. We see you! ) and make it quick. Be 100% present while in the presence of others. Anything less than that is just plain rude. Just saying!
3. To our Passengers and Fellow Drivers- “My social feeds are invariably more valuable than your life.” I know, I know… you can text and drive with no problem. Although your eyes may be off the road for 4 or 5 seconds at a time, you can still drive like a pro with minimal swerving, right? Well, tell that to the families of the 6,000 people who die each year as a result of some “pro” who “wasn’t easily distracted.” Studies show that you are 8 times more likely to have a car crash if texting while driving (compared to being 4 times more likely to have a crash if your driving while drunk) than if you’re fully engaged in your commute. (Click here for more Shocking Stats on Texting While Driving.) Keep your eyes on the road and off your phone. OMG… It will literally make the world a better place. Just a suggestion.
I know all your apps and gadgets can be a welcome escape from reality, and I’m sure you genuinely enjoy engaging with folks all over the world. I’ll be the first to admit that I love to go IN on a good Trending Topic every now and then. But not at the expense of my job, my personal relationships, my life or anyone else’s. The beauty of all this social media is that we can always tune in to see what’s going on. No need to drop everything we’re doing for fear that we may “miss something.” So, my dear Social Butterflies, spread your wings and fly to a greater height of personal, professional, and social awareness. Showing respect for yourself and others says a whole lot more than any Facebook update or 140 character Tweet.
Oh, but what do I know?! I’m just a lil blogger with lots to say.
~The Practical Chick