Scroll. Scroll. Click. Scroll. Scroll. Click. Click. Scroll. Click. Click. Click. Scroll. Scroll.
And so I begin every morning -or every afternoon since I am a nightshifter for the foreseeable future. I roll over in bed, pick up my phone, and groggily come to terms with the outside world via technology and social media. Those icons on the top of your phone indicating notifications? I hate those. From the moment I register the array, the analytical clearinghouse kicks in. Text messages first -heavens no, I can't respond without coffee. They'll sit there for a bit. Meaningless shopping apps second -who cares? I've no need for things. Then emails, Facebook and whatever seems appealing. I move through the lives of my friends and their friends and the things they're interested in before casting my own web of searches.
Social media has linked to depression. The people who use social media the most are narcissists and people with low self-esteem. It is fundamentally changing the way we receive, transmit and digest information with a typical news cycle lasting no more than 24 hours -if it's lucky.
Personally, I think it's fascinating.
This isn't surprising. I'm an ENTP (don't worry, I'm sure I'll expound on Myers-Briggs and personality typing some other time). ENTPs are described as being the verbally quick and clever ultimate Devil's advocates. We like controversy and argument because we like the fundamental art of flexibility in thought. For an ENTP, Facebook and Twitter are a playground. Instagram less so with little opportunity for dialogue, but isn't it so visually appealing? If an interesting thought comes through my head, I can toss is out to the world and see how it catches. Did you like it? How many people liked it? Do people like things differently at different time of day? (I've come to find there is an ideal time for a post). I can see other people tossing out their ideas for consumption and dissection. I can learn about things I never would have dreamed of from my online family.
I succeed in this because I am an ENTP. I'm the Devil's advocate. The responses I receive mean little compared to the enjoyment I find simply in seeing what happened with a particular thought. A flop? That flop teaches a valuable lesson about understanding human life -what a gift! No emotional impact on ego here.
Most of the time, I seek to be entertaining. When you read something I post, I want you to smile. I want you to laugh. I want you to grin with amusement. I think positivity is valuable, and while I have a dark wit, that's not the one I like to share. Darkness, though satiating, seems filled with self-indulgence and is unproductive. I already know which of my friends appreciate that sort of thing; I'll go to them directly and we'll have our own fun without being killjoys and cynics for the rest of the world. Better to seek to be a little ray of delight so we can build a world that shines.
I don't want you to be jealous. I don't want you to look on my life with envy. I don't want to feel self-important I run a blog. It should be no wonder I'm a sucker for nostalgia. I enjoy wandering through my past and social media simplified the process. Facebook is my interactive scrapbook. Documenting moments I'll peruse when I'm old and laugh about what a silly young girl I was. With older generations, they have photo albums. But unless they were avid journalers -I doubt, most people aren't- they have little factual evidence to how they used to be.
And there it ties back. I love nostalgia. I look back at even painful moments with an appreciation. How could I not? I've come so far. Not everyone is like me. Not everyone is an ENTP. Not everyone is immune to the embarrassment of mistakes. Some dwell. Some drown. Some look back and the pain is fresh, aching again. Is social media good or bad for us? We'll see.
As with the statement of this project, I'd like to be more focused. I'd like make my social media more focused. I want to end the endless scrolling. I want to hone the blade of influence so it's useless, but controlled. Which means doing things like this. Using computer time to be thoughtful. You'll probably read this from where I post it to Facebook, but I won't be there watching you.