Since the beginning of 2019, I have found myself far less time on time on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I think my usage in 2018 was at least double the amount (if not more) this early in the year. This article is going to be pretty frank about how addicting these platforms had become for me. Time to peek behind the veil a little.
Welcome to the Vortex
I want to tell you all a little secret. I have a super power. No, really, I do! My super power involves time manipulation to boot. But it is the absolutely WORST use of said power. You see, when I would pull my phone out to load one of the many social media accounts I’m a member of, I would tell myself (and Tash) “I’ll only be on for a moment just to see whats going on…”
I would look up from my phone and not realize that I’d suddenly gone down many rabbit holes that much time had passed. Not necessarily “hours” (though sometimes, I’m slightly embarrassed to admit, that it actually is the case), but enough time that could have been used for much more productive activities. As I stated last post, there are so many things that I want to accomplish. So many things I want to learn to do. I fear that often times, social media (Sm for the rest of this post) stunts my creative growth.
Like when you’re young and you’re told that drinking caffeine stunts your physical growth (HA Take THAT! Drinking coffee since I was 11 and it had NO effect on my height. GENETICS, YO!).
There have been many times where Tash and I will be talking about time management and I’ll lament the fact that “I don’t have time to do what I want to do”. My dear, sweet Canadian Maple Leaf will look at me with those loving eyes and remind me about specific instances where I’ll just be sitting with the light of the phone screen illuminating my face as I aimlessly scroll and scroll and scroll… If I’m being honest, that time spent scrolling is pretty much counter productive. If I were spending time on these platforms, you’d think I’d be, at the very least, posting, commenting, sharing whether on my personal page or on the many business/podcast ventures I’m part of. It turned into such a time suck that I missed so much of what was going on around me.
Xennials Vs. Generation O(steoporosis)
My generation (born between 1977 and 1983) have had the combined privilege and curse of being the benefactors of a special moment in history. We grew up in an age of cassette & video tapes, corded home ‘landlines’ and computers that weren’t networked. That made way to cd’s, laser discs, beepers, Nokia ‘brick’ phones and Free AOL discs prepped for dial up internet goodness. Eventually that tech matured to mp3’s, DVD’s, Blackberry’s and Cable internet. We are now in the age of streaming all of our media over ultra fast high speed internet and mobile devices that are stronger than the computers that came out not even 10 years ago. I may sound like an old person (is 39 considered ‘old’?) but I think we were the last generation that favored being outside and communicating with our friends face to face (or at the very least talking on the phone) vs spending time doing everything digitally. Unfortunately, a lot of us were also seduced by the very technology we watched evolve and I find that a lot of us are now stuck with our faces buried in our phones.
The generations that have followed… Millennials, Generation Z (while researching for this post, I had no idea that’s what they were called. Zombies? Well, kinda fits…ahem) and whomever comes after them have a large obstacle to overcome. Along with being inherently more sedentary, I would suspect that there will be some long term neck/spinal damage. Let’s face it, having your neck hunched over a device for hours at a time can’t be healthy. Seeming like we could almost ‘devolve’ back to a Cro-Magnon body stature with how much we’ve begun to rely on the endless stream of information. We have all fallen prey to getting all of our information from our computers, tablets and phones. Most entertainment is through a streaming service. We get that instant fix.
Recently Tash and I were having a discussion about pornography. WAIT.. Don’t close the window. I have a point to make here. Just bear with me for a moment. We were discussing how the generations following us have so much at their fingertips. Back when I was a kid, unless you had a friend or older sibling that had access to magazines or (gasp) videos, you were regulated to scrambled cable boobs or going to a Books-A-Million or Waldenbooks. The scenario essentially would be a kid taking a Playboy after looking to see if the coast was clear and slipping it into an ESPN magazine, thinking they were absolute MASTERMINDS (Little dudes… the staff knew. They ALWAYS knew)! Now, boobs are in MOTION. And it’s as easy as picking up your phone and doing a google search. Sometimes for the most harmless things then BOOM you’re faced with NSFW material. Don’t get me started on how content pushes the envelope further and further since everything is so readily available. That’s a post for another time.
Mean Girls have evolved
What I’m saying is all of these technology advances bound together under the blanket of “Social” media and staying connected, seems to be working against us. I blame Myspace and their “Top 8” feature back in the day. I swear it was like the “Mean Girls” of social media. I recall people getting into massive arguments over the placement of who was in the Top 8. Ridiculous. And now, having children of my own, two of which that are in high school, has driven some new causes for concern for Tash and I.
And it’s not just with “kids these days”. I’ve seen so many friendships, relationships and business ties destroyed by SM. It’s just this added layer of stress that frankly, I really don’t want or need. I think that the phrase “all things in moderation” applies here more than anything I’ve said in this post (that is turning out WAY longer than I expected it to).
What I’m attempting to do (as I stated in my last post) is to make better use of my time. I have spent so much time scrolling through endless amounts of information that I have taken my attention away from some of the most important things a human can engage in. Backing off the consumption of ‘media’ and focusing on cultivating the relationships with my family, absorbing new skills/knowledge, giving my eyes a break from screens all the time (funny… it JUST occurred to me that you’re reading this on a screen and I’m telling you to turn it off!) is something that I am desperately attempting to do. Sometimes, it’s best to just look up from your screen to see that your surroundings are, in fact, far better use of your time.
I’ll leave you with this story from last night as an analogy. I had left work early due to a snowstorm that was causing all forms of accidents on our route home and wanted to get ahead of it. Before we could head home, we had to make a few stops for supplies just in case we lost power. It was already dark as we were driving down a congested road towards Costco. I’m watching the roads as my daughter was watching something on Youtube on her phone when suddenly ALL of the lights went out leaving only the headlights and tail lights as our light source. We’re talking an immediate blackout of bright fluorescent parking lot lights at multiple car dealerships, street lights, strip malls… all dark. For me, I was immediately aware. For my daughter, it was a bit more ominous as the blackout was in her peripheral vision and it took her mind a moment to adjust. She didn’t realize what was happening around her until… she looked up.
Try to look up every once in a while. I PROMISE you’ll see a difference. Hopefully this post didn’t become to preachy. Oh look, there’s a video message from me too:
I’m also going to be setting up some Patreon and other Affiliate items because hey… who doesn’t like getting paid a bit for content?
In the mean time, feel free to follow me on all of the following platforms:
Youtube: (seeing a trend here?) youtube.com/oddzuki
Patreon: Coming soon.
Affiliate Goody Box:
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Also, look at pretty pictures I’ve taken: