Thursday, February 21, 2013

Social Media Shabbat FAIL

Posted by Amy Baranski

There I was logged on and creeping, during that 24 hour Shabbat. I knew better not to "like" anything so that my activity was minimalized. I even tried to remove Facebook from my mobile phone.

Complete lie. I didn't try at all.

I thought: surely Instagram doesn't count I'll go on there. Then, O Pinterest is basically like Bing images I'll just take a peek.

It's a slippery slope.

There I was on Facebook silently stalking everyone's status updates.

But damnit sometimes my friends are B-O-R-I-N-G. And by boring I mean predictable. I get Melissa's point and enthusiasm for moving on with the times, and I'll do her one better - I not only like moving on with the times I like moving ahead of the times. I'm all in favor of early adoption of technology and new media.

But honestly some of this new shit gets so old so quick.

It has no lasting flavor....Myspace? Friendster? Live Journal? I barely remember the first chat room I entered. How long are text messages saved? You can't tie a bow around a stack of text messages and take them out to savor one by one, ESPECIALLY if you've drowned your phone in a Honey Bucket.

Furthermore, are people really who they "update" themselves to be? I could be totally wrong, but my hunch is that people will divulge deeper parts of themselves in a letter Vs. Facebook.

Haven't you ever looked at your Facebook friends and seen a cast of misaligned characters? The one who is always happy, the one with career success, the one constantly down on her luck, the one with the best quips, the one who is earnest, the one with the "perfect" family photos, the second-amendment-wielding uncle who lives with his second wife in an RV? (No apologies Uncle M. you're posts are WACKED).

Gawd I can only image what "one" I am.

Anyway - I was sort of hoping that a month devoted to letter writing would remove the pressures of being on display each and every day (Melissa Gorga I heart you!).

And here I am online again writing about it.

I'll try the Social Media Shabbat again. I will.

And I will write all my letters in the next 7 days.

And then I'll FACEBOOK about that shit!


Melissa Baumgart said...

We need a like button!

I think I divulge more in a text than anywhere else, besides in person. A letter seems to permanent, like it will live forever.

Cassandra said...

LOL! I second Melissa's Like. I have some letters to write this weekend as well...

Alton Altars said...

I have been writing letters. And what I have discovered about it, is not just that my thoughts and writing are deeper and emotional but it slows me down. I feel that with emails and texting I get caught in the mediums intent; memo like interactions, quick and reduced. As if its a mindfulness vacuum. A letter feels like a conversation with the person, an email or text feels to me like a I am getting directions from a stranger.
I recently read some letters and postcards from my grandmother. She passed away in 1998 but these letters seem to bring her into my psyche more than the pictures. Her handwriting is so distinct and her thoughts and writing style seems to convey her more than any of my pictures of her. will I save my emails from friends? I don't. they seem so disposable floating in the ether of the digital realm.

Alton Altars said...

I have also recently been leaving my phone at home. because I am addicted to text messages and emails. I feel more mindful of the world around me. I have had very intimate text messages and have given therapy to people through texting but I wonder if we are just diminishing our ability of intimacy. we can't deal with other unless it is in memos. Am I doing this by always having my phone. I am all for technology but its as if we are children in our use of it. we don't ever reflect on how to use it we just indulge. I am trying to be more mindful of my use of technology. Like slow food movement I am trying my own slow technology movement.

Melissa Baumgart said...

Dear AA,
I loved your thoughtful responses to Amy's post. Especially that we are like children with the technology...I think I need someone to put me in a time out.

Amy Baranski said...

Yes! Slow technology movement! I have such a hard time with this because of the nature of my current job as well as being a mom now. Part of me feels like I can't survive without my mobile device! Maybe time to rethink this.