The Overload of Digital Social Interaction
It's 6:45 am. The room is silent. A dim auburn glow illuminates the sheer window covers as the Sun graces our day with his mighty presence. Then, I hear it, a scroll here, a tap there. I look over my shoulder and see a blue glow behind the outlining curves of the woman lying next to me. She is surfing the web and scanning the morning news. With her back facing me, she checks Facebook from beyond the rolls of the comforter.
I roll out of bed and head to the bathroom. Upon return, the blue glow still illuminates so I continue on to the kitchen for a glass of water.
As the day unfolds I sit at my computer, start it up, and await the log in screen. As it processes the request I gaze out over the city as sunrays sparkle the windowpanes. I lose myself in other worldly thoughts… destinations far beyond the distant mountains of the east.
As my computer displays the desktop, I open my email and launch a browser. Email notifications sound off as I click the shortcut to one of five social networks that I frequent: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest, and TruJournal. As I wait for Facebook to start up, I ponder… there are countless social networks begging my account setup, but who has time for more social connection not to mention all the texts and calls from my so called smart devices. The more we slide into this realm the less time we have for what is real. Yes, technology often streamlines our workflow and thus affords us more time, but with that time we tend to fill it with more and more digital tasks to complete.
Facebook appears. I scroll around smirking and snarking here and there at the various posts shared by others. Time ticks on as the sun rises above the shadows of the range brightly shining the pure glory of Nature. I glance at the clock and 20 minutes have passed. I decide to post some photos, add some catchy messages. I'm so witty that way. 'Wonder what people will think of this one?' I chuckle. 'How many likes will I get this time? Last time I got almost 50 likes.' giving myself the needed pat on the back. I condition my ego for more validation. 'My adventurous life is so amazing!' I confirm. Throughout the day I snap pictures here and there and revel in the immediacy of casting the message in a bottle onto the endless Internet Sea. It is so easy, too easy.
Then, as if coming off a short lived high from a drug that eases you into an addiction, the bliss is replaced with a realization I have been pushing away for some time. Though social networks have their limited value, my addiction to them is masking a truth I have to face. The truth is, the time I spend seeking validation from those virtual beings who praise my messages are helping me to cope with the fact that I am longing for more from this life. I'm simply bored. I spend time expressing my inner thoughts and translate them into creative expression and post them for my 'friends' because the pill feels so good going down. But, what I numb is the reality that I wish my life to be so fulfilling that it leaves me no time to surf social networks to see what others are doing. I am at peace with me and I do experience much in my life as it passes along, but because I am so done with the daily cat and mouse societal game of chase the dollar, I am left somewhat empty. I tend to fill the void with artificial social interaction that wastes away the available time I do have. This idea of the American Dream is dished out as a false sense of hope keeping us whirling around day after day spinning our valuable time into a blur with only the occasional break to stagger over to our computers and televisions for some artificial digital reprieve. I'd rather a tree in the woods next to a flowing stream be offered my attention long enough to share her wisdom. I am certain she'd share a message we all must eventually embrace; that the world outside is where we will find our true inner selves and our connection to one another.
I believe there is a place for social tools. I must, since I talk on the subject to audiences about leveraging information online to make an income. As of today, though, the purpose of my message is simply this: Use the system to beat the system.
This week I am a guest speaker at Overland Expo in Flagstaff, Arizona. I am going to be speaking on how to identify information assets we have, leverage those assets online, and make enough money to break free from the societal norm. Yes, my method still requires work to do. You have to build an audience, maybe even use social networks to do so, but beyond using them as a tool, you will be able to replace your online surf boredom with real life experiences if you so choose.
Beyond that, at least for the foreseeable future, I have decided that those who want to communicate with me will need to do so by inviting me to dinner, by picking up the phone, ask me to Skype, or send me an email or text. If they wish to follow my activities, I will be maintaining my own destination for sharing. I will be carrying this out for the soul purpose of delivering information in a value exchange that will afford me the ability to do more of what I like and less of what I don't. Want to stay connected with me to see what I am up to? Come visit my own websites. Want to spend time with me? Schedule it. I am certain it will be worth it and the social interaction will far surpass the seconds of interaction we have on Facebook.
I have several websites now including TokenRock.com, TruJournal.com, ScottLeuthold.com, LaunchSync.com, GDSuccess.com, and soon 4Xpedition.com and AMomentInWilderness.com… as well as many of the social networks and some even with several different accounts! I will be consolidating my efforts (and websites) in the coming months to only projects that either truly inspire me or return the revenue necessary to spend more time doing the things I love.
I have been without a television for a year. I haven't missed it for a second. Facebook? Twitter? Don't tempt me.