Social media can connect us and be used as a powerful tool. Very often, however, it can be addictive and lead to a state of depression and loneliness.
from contributing writer Blu Wyatt
Scroll, scroll, scroll….
read, read, read….
like, love, comment…
scroll, message, follow…
scroll, unfollow (too many food pics)…
scroll, repost, watch, collect…
then I finally find time to record, filter and share my own stuff.
I’m ashamed to admit this…I can’t even believe I’m telling you this without trying to hide behind fluffy, fancy words….which don’t seem to be oozing out anywhere around me.
Here it is…I’m laying it all bare.
For a while now….
I’ve fallen prey to the time-robbing, idea-sucking, mind-numbing, brain-washing, charging-too-much, over-algorithm-ing mogul of social media. If we’re to imagine Social Media as the neighborhood and all the apps doing social things are the town folk….what would that look like?
Introducing the 7 Faces of Cool Town Social Media
There are 7 main personalities stealing our focus these days. Then most likely hundreds in the wings hoping to rise above the masses…..but for now we start here.
ONE: The main character of our story is Queen Instagram…..if we were to imagine her she’d be the adorable, put-together soccer mom with a messy bun knot right on the top of her adorable head, skinny jeans, black leather booties, a hand knitted scarf and an Evereve T-shirt. She does all the right things, puts dots where they go, crosses t’s and bakes cookies on Friday. She’s everyone’s best friend and she keeps her friends highly engaged. She’s always on the go…..moving and shaking and designing and creating. I love her, really. Stories is where it’s really at…behind the scenes of life…telling it all. Thanks Queenie for your constant feed of inspiration.
TWO: We’re all well acquainted with her older, more mature, best friend across the street, Madam Facebook. Now, MF has her ups and downs. She’s ridiculed and belittled at times….yet, she is like the glue that holds most families together….however, I’d love to sugar coat this, but we need to face the truth. MF holds a dark secret. She is prejudice! Yep! She has the tightest, most intricately woven threads of control, judgement and bossiness in the form of algorithms on the face of this neighborhood. She makes no bones about it. Anyone with too conservative views for her liking gets easily blocked, deleted or dismissed. She silences anyone that step on her toes in the name of creating a safe community. Hmmmmm. We can go way deeper here but it’s a touchy subject…Moving on.
THREE: The town mayor, Mr. Twitter, is highly informed and deeply connected. His conversations are very short and to the point, no hemming or hawing around. He sometimes sticks his foot in his mouth and has to back pedal to save face. He has many friends in town and keeps everyone accountable for the words they speak. No one is exempt from scrutiny (or another word I can’t find right now) or too high above criticism. He can give you access to top leaders without so much as a hoop to jump through…just by mentioning someone’s name you show up in that person’s living room…on their smart phone. The sky’s the limit with Tweetie Twitter. Take a bow, my friend, I wish we were better acquainted…maybe someday.
FOUR: Then there’s the blonde bombshell in the carpool lane fully decorated, every inch, whom we call Princess Pinterest. She’s always dolled up, never misses a beat, flawless, impeccable, funny, and very inspirational. PP always has good ideas about style, projects, baking and even makeup. I always want to start a DIY project after time spent alone with her. Truth is, everyone loves this gem as well we should. End of story.
FIVE: Now let’s not forget the stout, polished business man in the fine silk suit called Monsieur LinkedIn. He always has a word of wisdom, advice or assistance with regard to business and success, among other things. He’s a professional connector with a corner office and a view. Need a job? He’s your man! Stick with ML, take his advice, meet the people, get plugged in, you’ll go far.
SIX: We all have a soft spot for the brilliant, wildly entertaining college kid out on spring break holiday, Mr. YouTube Dude. Oh yes, the original funniest home videos for the average Joe….put him to the test…..ask YTD about funny cat videos and try not to laugh your pants right off. In addition, YouTube Dude has become somewhat of a go to for How To’s. You wanna know how to do something you visit YTD…sit for a few minutes and boom…there’s the answer. You can learn to change a tire, speak French, install a chandelier, build a farm table or cut your dog’s nails (trust me I’ve tried). It’s all there at his hacking-happy fingertips. He better watch out for the rise of IGTV. Just sayin’.
SEVEN: Lastly, have you met SnapChat? I just don’t get this one. Rebellious teenager? Confused Preteen? It’s like an energetic ADHD kid with a memory problem……say what?! You can only remember for up to 24 hours then you’re wiped clean? Starting fresh everyday with no knowledge of the previous day’s happenings? Sketchy business, if you ask me. And don’t get me started on his first cousin SnapMap. Steer clear, my friends. Warning: set to ghost mode!
Social Media Bonus Mentions
No one knows what happened to the hilariously teetering toddler of Vine and I’m pretty sure Periscope, the flamboyant news anchorman, is in the weeds but could make a rise at any moment…. anything is possible, even if highly unlikely. But it’s neither here nor there and none of my concern.
These guys n gals (other than Snapchat obviously) were more than just my neighbors, my confidants, my shoulder to cry on, my go to when something funny happens and I’m bursting at the seams to share …. they’re more than just a connection to my people… they’ve become more like my…
How shall I say it?
They’re my drug dealers.
Feeding me just enough to keep me coming back for more… always drawing me to my phone when that all too familiar ding, dong, boing, zip, whiz, doo-da sound goes off… announcing someone loves me. They’re affirming me. Relating to me. Challenging me. Thinking of me. Tagging me… yes, let me reply right away…. all this just squeezes my juice, if you will.
My drug of social media greeted me each morning. First thing after waking up I’d grab it from my nightstand and check to see if anything happened while I slept. All throughout the day this would go on……without boundaries… this neighborhood of beautiful people was enticing, and I was easy prey. Unwanted voices bounced in my head, drowning out the still small voice I most NEEDED to hear. I would find myself checking my phone at every turn.
This is just stupid! I thought.
My mind was like an amateur ping pong game on a cruise ship out to sea… all over the place. Notifications, comments, messages, shares, new followers… subscribers, tags… I had to know. I would never admit it… even now I have the hardest time typing all this.
check this Larry King interview with Simon Sinek on social media addiction and going through with drawl
Solution to the Addiction
This all came to a head on Friday afternoon, October 5th… I started feeling like it was time to take a break. I went from mulling it over to jumping off the deep end …… Saturday morning I drew in my journal announcing my breakup. I posted the image about taking a week off (which suddenly changed to a month). I literally hid all my social apps in a way back folder on the last page of my iPhone and now I receive zero notifications … or regrets.
I find myself wading knee deep in a season of social abstinence. Without outside influence, the voices are dimming. Honestly, life has been so much lighter… quieter… more chill.
Don’t be mistaken, noise still surrounds me. My boys. My hubs. My projects. My to do list. My favorite podcasts. My friends. Dancing with the Stars. All beautiful parts of my life … all vying for my undivided attention. None of which demanding or pressuring me to be anything different than I am.
I’m exactly free.
Refocus my thoughts… regroup my brains… recharge my body and spirit …refuel my soul …renew my mind…..these things I must do.
There’s no mistaking, silence will be my steady guide through this time of submission and discovery. Let’s be real. There’s a time, place and purpose for the ruckus of social media, but I won’t let it stifle the Voice of my soul. His voice is all I crave!
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Blu Wyatt is world-wide traveler, writer, and spoken word artist. She resides in Nashville, TN with her husband and two sons. Click here to find out more about her Living Decorated ministry.