Friday, March 30, 2012

Anti-Social Networking

Over the last year, have struggled to balance my use of social networking; Of course I had a Facebook page, and then there was Twitter, GooglePlus, LinkedIn and a few Google groups too. It was getting overwhelming, keeping all these accounts straight, and now I've got to keep track of MeetUp, and Pinterest too? I rationalized that I needed to be on all these sites. In my field it is important that I to stay up to date with trends in technology, design, and popular culture. I was networking, building a circle of contacts for my career, and providing information to my students. But what I actually got was more and more stressed. I put up with whining, vulgarities, politics, drama, music videos that I don't watch and vague, cryptic status updates. "Enough is enough!"

In December we got rid of our satellite connection and it has been incredibly liberating! I have not missed watching television at all. I'm ready for the next step and just deleted my Facebook account. Today I spent over 3 hours collecting the phone numbers, email and birthdays from each of my nearly 200 "friend's." I then untagged myself from hundreds of photos and comments, downloaded photos that I want to retain and bookmarked several dozen websites I will want to revisit. In the next few days I will need to contact my family and friends who may not know how to get hold of me outside of Facebook.

It sickens me to consider how many hours, perhaps even days, I have spent on social networking sites over the last five (or more) years. What could I have done with that time? What might I have read, drawn, written, created? I've got a shelf full of books to read, a box (or two) of fabric to stitch, a dozen or more notebooks full of story ideas, and plenty of empty pages in my sketchbooks. There's a new pair of running shoes and a dog that needs exercise. My flute and a harmonica are waiting. And I've got a blog should any of my REAL friends want to see what I am up to or comment on my musings.

One more thing that has been neglected since I've been on-line; my bed. It's got something that no website can ever provide, big fluffy pillows and a husband I love.