Good evening, Facebook

addicted to facebook

A representation of reality.. surrogate for living. The digital opium of friends mashed up into a little screen. A concentrated blasting of relentless emotions, passions and boredom, false truths and true facts, passive aggressive sarcasm, takers, givers, and inspiration.
You make us feel good.
Ironically, you make us feel connected.

Advertisements

Get unstuck, get unplugged, and take a swing

Using the internet can get to be like drinking from a fire hose. You’re attentive, reading, laughing, posting, messaging. But soon the web becomes a tangle of sticky strands. The internet is always open, holding many, many, many bits of data. Empty calories at an all you can eat buffet, leaving us hungry. Opinions are amplified and in your face. After a time, you shrug off the sarcasm and insults. Soon, the rest become blurred, too.

Billions of people defined by their pictures, their forwarding, their quoting, their lecturing. There’s a megaphone for everyone, like a crowded bar you’re tired of shouting in. The people are friendly enough, reliable little nodes for information, streaming you everything from everywhere, so you stop digging in, because it all looks good, and you just don’t have the time. So you graze, taking just a taste, and move on. Like walking down a busy Manhattan street with the honking horns, the engines rumbling. You get jostled, so you stop seeing people, instead looking at the fringes to carve out where to walk as you glance into the shop windows. But you don’t try anything on. You just observe as you go by. Surrounded and alone.

But we can unplug whenever we want. And you know that. So you do. And you walk out that door.
Look there.
A person.
Smile.
You get a smile back.

And then you remember.
You remember what it’s all about.
So, reach out.
Step up and take a swing.
Why not? Hear the clock? Tick-tock. It’s going to stop sooner than you think.

TED Talk Tuesday: Social networking isn’t so social

Sherry Turkle hits a little too close to home:

“Across the generations, I see that people can’t get enough of each other, if and only if they can have each other at a distance, in amounts they can control. I call it the Goldilocks effect: not too close, not too far, just right.”

I don’t even have a smart phone and I’m getting sucked in. The instant companion, the reassuring presence of people in my texts. They’re there, but not too close. Technology is good at providing what we want. But not what we need. Sherry describes it well:

“…I believe it’s because technology appeals to us most where we are most vulnerable. And we are vulnerable. We’re lonely, but we’re afraid of intimacy.”

Isnt it true? The prickly pear. The conversation with someone that seems like you’re peeling an artichoke to get to the goodness inside? Well, that’s ok. TV and movies has us thinking we need to have the perfect response and the right gestures, but that’s not life:

“Human relationships are rich and they’re messy and they’re demanding. And we clean them up with technology. And when we do, one of the things that can happen is that we sacrifice conversation for mere connection. We short-change ourselves. And over time, we seem to forget this, or we seem to stop caring.”

It’s time we recognize that using our smart phone isn’t so smart sometimes. It’s time we unplug. If the cell phone is making you happy, by all means, keep it up. But if it’s not…? If it’s just calling you back to the instant connection to everyone and no one, the intimacy that feels good, but doesn’t satisfy, then it’s time to listen to Sherry:

“Technology is making a bid to redefine human connection — how we care for each other, how we care for ourselves — but it’s also giving us the opportunity to affirm our values and our direction. I’m optimistic. We have everything we need to start. We have each other. And we have the greatest chance of success if we recognize our vulnerability.”

TED Talk Tuesday: Graham Hill says “Less stuff, more happiness”



Graham Hill gives one of the best TED talks I’ve seen. We have three times as much living space as 50 years ago. But happiness has flatlined since then. Why? Because more stuff doesn’t make you more happy. The right stuff does.

It’s all about turning our paradigm on its head. I’ve been there. I’m in the store, and that ‘As Seen on TV’ car window scrubber looks really useful. So I grab it. And I do use it. Maybe a handful of times. But then I think about how a simple towel would have worked just as well.

“We need to think before we buy. Ask ourselves, “Is that really going to make me happier? Truly?” By all means, we should buy and own some great stuff. But we want stuff that we’re going to love for years, not just.. stuff.”

Less stuff means more freedom, means more time. When I go camping, somehow my worries are reduced, which relates to having everything I own for that trip in a backpack. My day is wide open and free. (Seeing a sunset over the Appalachian mountains helps prioritize things too, of course.)

“We’ve got to clear the arteries of our lives. And that shirt that I hadn’t worn in years? It’s time for me to let it go. We’ve got to cut the extraneous out of our lives, and we’ve got to learn to stem the inflow.”

What stuff do you think you could let go of in your life?

What stuff truly makes you happy?