Today I woke up experiencing the same feeling of desolate sadness that has pervaded me often in the mornings lately. First thing I did was picking up my mobile phone and checking Facebook, as I do often…too often. But something has changed this morning and I think it has to do with how meditation is changing the way I perceive and think.
Since yesterday I’ve gotten some positive feedback, both on the new site layout and on my latest post in which I posed the question of whether or not to create a Facebook page for the site.
Because of that I’ve now created a “community” page that you are welcome to go and like here if you feel like it.
I’ve wanted to expand the universe of the measured life for quite a while, but have been hesitant to do so because:
a) I don’t want to make promises that I can’t keep.
b) I don’t have enough of a community to justify doing so.
Continue reading if you want to know more about this.
Today I am going to talk a bit about a subject that I think is one of the reasons that I have a worthwhile place in the blogging community: Social media. As a trained anthropologist/sociologist I’ve got the (dis)advantage of largely looking at online social interaction through theoretical eyes, which should make for some interesting thoughts on the subject.
I’ll start with some personal experience though. In November last year I decided to go on a ‘indefinite’ Facebook hiatus. The rule was to return once I had beaten the unhealthy addiction to the site that I had then. I reopened my profile 21 days later with a whole new perspective on things.
First of all, once you remove Facebook from your daily life you realize how much information overload the news feed provide. At the time of my hiatus I had liked and subscribed to about 300 pages, many of which flooded my stream with several daily updates. Since I found a lot of what those pages had to say interesting it became an easy way to procrastinate.
So the first thing I did when I reopened my profile was to remove ALL of my likes and make the rule of never ‘liking’ a page again! This single change did a lot for my overall productivity at work and otherwise.
Not only do I now have a much cleaner feed where I only get updates from my friends (or from my ‘online friends’ anyway), not having to think about likes has removed the hazzle of having to manage my social identity on Facebook.
Since I don’t ‘like’ any music, movies, politicians, celebrities etc. there’s not much to find out about me on Facebook anymore. Problem of having to keep up with the Joneses solved!
I think this deserves a post for itself, but social media sites like Facebook puts a lot of pressure on people because they practically invite you to build up an unrealistic public persona which no one can live up to in real-life.
I have also (almost) entirely stopped sharing things like YouTube videos on Facebook. Instead I will go straight to (or write a private message to) those I think might enjoy it when I stumble upon something I like on the net (or I might post it here instead in the future).
This further spares me from ever having to worry over if I am popular or not. Really, I couldn’t care less if I have the ‘right’ music taste, if I am attending the right parties, if I saw the right movies and so on. Neither should you, so quit posting stuff on Facebook. You will not regret the decision.
In the end, my Facebook experience is pretty much reduced to private (and therefore more often meaningful) chats and messages as well as ‘going’ to some events. I know I just said that I couldn’t care less about other people knowing about what events I’ve attended, and I don’t, but even I have to admit that not being on Facebook is a huge disadvantage in terms on being up-to-date on current events in your social circle. When I left Facebook I simply didn’t have a clue of many concerts and social gatherings happening.
So the morale of the day is that keeping up with everybody and their dog may be a reason for stress and maybe even self-esteem related issues in your life. It was for me and I mitigated these issues by limiting my
use abuse of social media.