—–My realities between real life and tech were becoming skewed. I didn’t need to live in any one place as I could communicate with my friends and family through email, text messages, social media, etc. Living in one spot felt inconvenient. Dedicating to a lover or a few friends in the “physically being with them sense” felt inconvenient, not efficient, and limiting. My attention span grew less. My anxieties and depressions increased. I couldn’t keep from thinking about my digital communications and social media and what I could be doing somewhere else that would make me happy. I often felt like I was just a fly buzzing around looking for the next poop stimulating adventure. There was too much distraction constantly swirling around in my head from my tech connections. I had trouble focusing on anything for too long and would grow impatient constantly and relied often on grandiose ideas that spurred out of nowhere and didn’t really focus on anything but my short-term well-being. It was harder for me to make new friends as the ease of digital friends and that world was much easier to handle and others were feeling and yearning for that comfort zone too. I started to feel more stress and anxiety around social situations that resulted in me wanting to take off and go live differently. And when those social outings went on for too long, anxiety and stress would take over about how I would end these outings and go back to my comfort zone of my social devices and digital world.
If you’re constantly trying to make yourself available to be exposed to people you want to be around, how do you turn it off and ever value people when in fact you are around them? The urge to connect always to “others” is never ending and it is easy to grow impatient in one’s presence when the looming desire and fantasy of other connections are waiting for you through your devices in social media. It is as addicting as anything else in our society. It is taking over our brains and attention and our focus and actually limiting those things too by the obsessive approach to connect with others but not actually really “connecting” with them. It’s weird.
—-“Lurking” on social media without directly getting involved with people or actions or issues is a problem for many people. Avoiding “lurking” and taking breaks from social media are researched to bring people back to a positive space with their lives and how they view themselves.
Various groups are trying to use social networking to map the patterns and behavior of a person’s social connectivity and take the happiness pulse of the entire planet, so it can detect red flags for a person’s, a society’s, emotional well-being. Will we one day receive medical prescribed social networking notifications that diagnose us with depression, anxiety, insecurity, over stress, addiction, suicide tendencies, narcissism, withdrawing from friends/family and overall mental health monitoring? Seems like it’s only a matter of time and can you imagine the kind of world this would bring about? A whole plethora of positives and negatives come to mind for mapping the norms of happiness that could be so easily measured by our government, companies, ourselves, etc.
—-Why can’t we be tougher, more resilient and determined in our work so we can accomplish all of our goals? The problem is partly that we often put too much on our plate for our goals. We say ‘yes’ way too much. We expect an unrealistic amount of accomplishment from ourselves (an expectation that we would in no way hold for others) and are constantly distracted from social networking and technology to move and take on the next thing from the infinite source of information (The average person engages with their phone 150 times a day. If every distraction took only 1 minute, which would be seriously optimistic, that would account for 2.5 hours of every day). However, what is even more at play than our distracted lives and busy schedules is a misunderstanding of what it means to be tough, resilient, and overworked.
We often sacrifice sleep, eating well, love, etc. in the name of productivity, but ironically with our loss of such things, despite the extra hours we spend ‘working’, adds up to lots of inefficient, stressful, and wasteful hours. And just because work stops, doesn’t mean we are recovering. We very often ‘stop’ work but then spend the night wrestling with solutions to work problems, talking about our work over dinner, and falling asleep thinking about how much work we’ll do tomorrow (and by the way, ‘work’ can mean anything that’s causing one stress and anxiety and where one’s mind doesn’t ever leave from).
A resilient and tough person is a well-rested one. When an exhausted individual goes out into their day they risk hurting everyone on the road with impaired driving, they don’t have the cognitive resources to do as well at their jobs, they have lower self-control with friends and family, they are moody, bitter and less capable of love, affection, and connection. Overworking and exhaustion is a romanticized notion that you are actually doing a good job. In reality, most of us don’t have to do this to ourselves to survive and is the opposite of resilience and what I like to call ‘stupid tough.’ The key to resilience is trying really hard, then stopping, recovering, and then trying really hard again…
—-Facebook is a tricky balancing act and many will not have the education, will, or insight to know how to balance it out. I don’t think the overall solution is in just deleting your facebook account. That doesn’t seem like a realistic solution that most people are going to partake in or one that people can actually stick to. It’d be like saying just stop eating sugar. Even though it’s enormously healthy to partake in this practice and sounds really easy to do people are going to have a hard time going cold turkey and how does one create a sustainable lifestyle approach vs that of a diet approach? There’s a lot of connecting that goes on with facbook and one should always make sure the emphasis on real connection takes precedent over cyber connection and to be vigilant to fight the temptations to be withdrawn into that cyber world because it will always be easier to do so. Reminds me of the essence of therapy in general. Without being vigilant in our lives towards self improvement and opening connections, the default day to day will lead most of us to a more enclosed, set world of just using the select few neural pathways that our brains need and our comfortable in. Our brains have a tendency to really be naturally lazy.