July 18, 2013

In a Disconnected World

These days I'm having a love/hate relationship with the internet. Maybe I always have but lately it seems that the "hate" side it gaining ground.

Who knew twenty years ago how much this form of communication would connect and divide us? With the continual onslaught of information we have some to care so much that we run out of energy to care enough. 

I'll admit it, I don't know where to draw the line.

I've tried cutting out certain social media (yes Facebook, I'm talking about you) but I have some great connections there. Amidst the clutter and the noise and the fighting and the photos I have found old friends who encourage me, challenge my thinking and help to feed my soul and spirit. 

At one time I was linked to six groups related to having a child with special needs, a Trisomy or the exact condition The Princess was born with. Four groups for buying/selling locally. One to keep up with our friend's ministries.

Then there are those who want to be "friends" because of interactions in these groups.

Then there are the pages I have "liked" so they fill my feed with photos and announcements.

Then there are the family members who have adorable children doing adorable things in adorable photos.

There are things I don't want to miss and things I can't unsee.

In my list there are ongoing theological arguments, conversations and truly inspirational moments of sharing.

There are people to pray for, boycotts to join, illnesses, trials, triumphs and endless causes.

Things that galvanize us and things that just cause outrage.

There are photos of projects I want to do, food I need to make and clothing I want to wear.

Is it possible to know too much?

How do we separate opinions from facts?

When do these online connections aid us in living in the reality outside of the internet?

When is too much not enough?

Those of you reading this probably wouldn't have found me without some form of social media. I dare say the majority has showed up through Facebook.

So, what do I do?

I'm going to connect outside of here and see what happens.
I'm purposing to meet up with more people in real life.
I'm going to take more naps. (That has nothing to do with the internet but I like naps.)
I'm going to encourage you, my readers, to find a human, face to face, voice to voice to connect with today.

How do you survive the clutter of social media? What do you do to keep what is good and ignore the rest? How do you make the internet work for you instead of against you? How do we make sure that those things that connect us in one way don't separate us in others?




Hope said...

I hear ya! I think "social media" is a misnomer. "Anti-Social Media" would be much more appropriate. Where else do people have the nerve to act so rude and forget there is an actual human being on the other side of that keyboard?

We won't even get started on the hours wasted that would be better spent over a cup of coffee and a smile from a friend?

(...and I like naps, too.)

Hope said...

I decided when I first set up my fb account that I would only have my family as my friends. I have stayed true to that it keeps me in touch with what is going on so many miles away. This may sound cold, but those of you who know me that are reading this know it is the way I think...straight forward and no-nonsense. To be honest, I don't really have an interest in knowing what my old high school pals or even Army pals or former colleagues are doing every day because, frankly, for me, it IS too much information.

I find having the ability to reach out and touch those that may come to mind that I don't have an ongoing relationship with in my own way (email, phone) is much less stressful and time consuming than having to filter through a lot of posts that I really couldn't care less about. There is only so much one can consume from our information-soaked environments until it all runs over each other anyways.

Since finding out over the years that for me, family are the ones who have stuck by me through it all, they are the ones I care about and I know care about me (well, most of them do, I think...) and thus, they are the ones I give my time to through social media.

That's not to say that I don't "like" pages of those causes that interest me or I want to stay up on their goings on, because I do. But I feel in control because I choose them and then I "hide" those that may annoy me after awhile with too many postings or even at times unlike them because they have veered off of what I think their course is supposed to be.

Most of this truly stems from my own control issues, but, hey, at least I have the courage to admit I have them!

Naps are a great way to break away from the mesmerizing influence of my computer screens and let my mind relax and refresh, and thus, I think they are essential for good health. So, anyone who likes naps and is a part of my family is definitely a fb friend of mine! ;-)