There is mixed opinion about social media. I personally believe it is about a healthy balance as I do appreciate the internet is a life line for many people. When I travel alone I enjoy listening to music. Seeing what friends are doing. Finding out about the latest topics – However, I never surf the web on my phone. It’s a strict rule – as I do not wish my free time to become consumed in surrealism.
When I am on the train – I look out the window and see beautiful landscape and architecture. I get my best ideas whilst roaming the findings of nature and art. But I see so many people staring at their phones.
Recently a woman and her young daughter sat by me on the train. The woman was on Facebook. I couldn’t help but notice she shared a picture of the view from the carriage window. Her daughter was then handed a mobile phone by her mother. They didn’t speak a word to one another for the entire journey which lasted for over an hour. It must have seemed to her Facebook friends they were on a jolly. But they were not. They sat in silence. I really felt for that little girl. I wanted to chat with her but she would have found it strange to be disturbed from her virtual world by a stranger. I don’t think either of them were even aware I was there? This really is a problem and we cannot live in denial.
If things carry on like this, what is life going to be like in the future? I do know it is about balance and to protect the vulnerable. Particularly children. We need to be honest with ourselves and do what is best for the next generation. We should not leave it to the power engines to decide how we should think – what we see – what we know! Life should be free. It is as if the mass majority are serving a prison sentence without realising. That we are not using our brains to the full potential. We are shrinking into clones of the opinions of those we will probably never meet or know. We are exchanging likes and shares with bots that are nothing more than an automated nothingness. We are becoming dependent on a false reality that does not validate our worth in the real world. Obesity – depression and violence are at an all time high and no one is taking responsibility. Scholars and artists are being silenced and incarcerated for art – whilst social media is filling our heads with fake news and fear. It does not have to be this way.
To post bulletins, share your news, show what is happening in your community – all these things can be positive. To learn to spread time across recreational and community living – alongside the more positive aspects of being on the internet. To not allow yourself to feel degraded or belittled by a keyboard. What began as a useful tool should not become more important than a good quality of life. Algorithms are controlling what we see and what we buy into. A repetitive cycle that keeps us stuck in the system.
Even think about what you are doing today – Are you alienating yourself away from real life events and gatherings in favour of social media? Did you used to paint – write – craft or go the gym? What sacrifices have you made to spend time on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram?
Of course I would not want to change your free choice – I am simply saying it is all about moderation. Be with your children – talk with them. Teach them new skills. They need you.