Been thinking a lot about urgency lately.
Particularly how social media creates a sense of urgency without really doing anything. Almost all social media channels use their users to create it for them.
Think about it: Aside from the algorithm-driven passive sales on Facebook, we’re reacting to the posts of those we know.
We are compelled to up our game, drop out, do more, do less, get the app, sign the petition, boycott him, support the other guy, all because someone we know, or someone who knows someone we know, is somehow suggesting it. Just by sharing their own opinion. No matter how uninformed.
It’s genius, really. Somehow.
We need to do more. We need to go out more. We need to post food pics and selfies in front of quirky places. We need to practice our inversions so when we’re in Germany we can pop up into one in front of where the wall used to be. We need to post the best version of ourselves we want others to see. We need to prove we’re unique. Just like everybody else.
It’s a mad scientists social experiment. It has to be.
I’m only halfway through day five, but I see this just through my tendencies to reach for my phone when I want to escape a conversation, or I’m bored, or I have a few minutes. I’m filling space and avoiding being present with nothing. Photos and posts of things I normally wouldn’t choose to read. Probably.
And as I scroll my mind is making calculations and decisions, seemingly without my permission or input, about what I should post next or what glib response I can throw down on a friends photo.
But what if we picked the people or pages we wanted to visit rather than minlessly scrolling? Showed some restraint, some control. What if we chose how to use social media rather than being pulled along by the suggestions of a computer program? Is that even possible?
I get the irony here. I am suggesting you reframe how you use the very media on which you are likely viewing this. I’m just another voice asking you to do something, creating urgency.
I don’t know the answer. There’s a happy medium in there, or out there, somewhere. A place where information and mindfulness meet. I haven’t found it yet, although I am kind of partial to blogs. 😉
It all just makes me very tired.
So, today I spent some time in nature. And some time reading. An actual book with pages that I turned with my hand instead of tapping the right side of a screen. My whole house was open, the wind blowing the curtains on the back patio, breezes running from the front to the back. I caught the light outside and thought more than once about capturing it in my phone. But my phone was in another room and did not go get it. At least twice.
Then finally when it was time to start dinner I retrieved my phone to check for messages – just one, and finally took that photo.
This afternoon, just a few hours of cleaning my house, watching birds and butterflies and shamelessly reading seemed to reset something. No telling if it will last, but for now I would much rather sit on my back porch with a glass of wine and that book.
And no phone.