There was an article I ran across today about a guy that went an entire year without Internet. Not a bad deal since he was paid for to write about his experience as well. Initially he described the not-so-surprising effects. He missed being connected with family and friends, and was lacking a bit of entertainment. One of the motivations he had for doing this was because he seemed to feel overwhelmed by the whole Internet. There was always something coming down the pipeline and it was like a drug that couldn’t be contained.
After a while he mentioned becoming more at peace with things and found more creativity and drive in his life. But the twist to his story comes with the notion that the Internet wasn’t really his problem. He was his own problem. Though he found comfort in other activities, he became overwhelmed and needed ‘more’ no matter what was going on. All that seemed to be happening was that he was missing the connectivity with family and friends while experiencing the same troubling symptoms of life.
I’ve had a few runs of rebellious outbursts where I decided to close my Facebook account or stay away from it for a while. I think most of us have considered the same at one point or another for various reasons. I used to get up in the morning and while making peace with the bathroom depository I would get caught up on all the social and news activity in my world. I felt content with my ‘fix’ and just like warming up for an exercise, I was ready to interact with the day. Truth of the matter was, I was lacking meaningful interaction with people on a face to face basis. I thought a major contributing factor to it was my reliance on social networking via the Internet.
Last year I was unsuccessful in deleting my Facebook. I really tried but it never actually deleted. Anyways, after cleansing my immediate lifestyle of this devil we criticize all too often I felt a sense of oneness with the world. Things were looking up for once. I would embark on having more meaningful relationships with friends and communication with family might come a bit easier… Nope…
Everyone has their circle of friends in and out of social networking sites. Just like elementary school, we all have our cliques. Ridding myself of a false life I seemed to create online did nothing for inclusion in any real-life social circle at any level. I found myself just as cynical towards people’s actions and behaviors as I did when I saw them online. Nothing really changed except for the fact that I had to stick to playing Angry Birds while dropping a deuce in the morning.
As much as I despise what society has become because of the ease of connection, it simply is a part of who we are. Just as our actions define our character in real life, our online behavior does just the same. Even before this Internet craze, people have looked for unique ways to connect. It could be sending smoke signals, passing notes, carrier pigeons, string and a soup can… It just so happens that electronic communication is so much cooler and easier than setting up an intricate system of codes and protocol to personalize communication between people in your ‘circle.’
This year long blog is a little journey I’m traveling on for reasons not quite realized. In light of this topic, the root of the matter is mere communication with other people. Maybe this communicates to people who either really care about what’s going on in my life, or maybe it’s to perfect strangers who find me the least bit intriguing and want to follow along. Either way, it feels refreshing to get things out in the open. Things that are important to me. And since few people have the temperament to sit and actually listen to what I have to say, this is the next best thing to actual human interaction.