Present Tense

My so-called virtual life….bah!

I’m trying to figure out when I abandoned my real life for my virtual life.  I’m pretty sure that I crossed over after I opened my Facebook account.  Several friends were urging me to sign up in the same way that I encouraged some of my high school friends to start drinking.  “Come on, what can it hurt?  If you don’t like it, you can stop.  Beside, everyone is on Facebook….”

So as a strong, productive, successful middle-aged woman, I bowed to peer pressure and quickly became a Facebook addict.  With my predilection for things that spark the pleasure centers of my cerebral cortex, I should have seen it coming.  You can lurk and spy and surf your friends’ photos and statuses, all while sitting on the couch in your PJs,  drinking hot chocolate (or wine….you know who you are).  It’s creepy and voyeuristic and a hell of a lot of fun, particularly when you live in a very small town, with long, cold winters.

And of course, being the addict that I am, I couldn’t stop with one; I opened a second Facebook account for my radio show. That meant more friends for me to spy on and chat with.  The vast majority of them are complete strangers, for all intents and purposes, but I happily inject myself into their threads; kinda weird for a self-proclaimed social retard.

Next up, a Twitter account to publicize my blog of course, but I never tweet.  I lurk, reading other people’s 140 character masterpieces.  I’ll be honest, though;  I really don’t ‘get’ Twitter.  Maybe it’s because I have a radio show, where I ‘tweet’ everything that’s on my mind for 4 hours a day.  My brilliance is on display every morning on Mix 100 Denver, so I don’t have a burning desire to share every thought once my microphone is off.  It seems like other media types are smitten with Twitter; maybe they just have bigger egos than I do.   Or they don’t have a blog…..

What really kicked my virtual life into turbo-charged, high gear was the adding an iPad to my arsenal.  Even thought it’s an awesome device, the iPad is a digital crackpipe.  I do nothing useful on it.  It’s hard to type on, so I don’t write or create; instead I creep and I surf.  I’m surprised that I haven’t drooled all over it as I robotically mouth-breathe around the ‘net for hours.  Add in a Blackberry and I’m in the grip of some major league time wasters.

I read a blog this past week that eloquently expressed my subconscious discomfort with all of the time I waste on Facebook.  Amy Taylor writes about people beginning to turn off the bells and whistles of their smart phones and ignore their social media connections.  She calls it “The Return to Real Life”.

Well, I’m stealing that concept and I’m returning to real life.  For a week, anyway.  My the goal is to spend less time on the mindless surfing that causes my brain to flat-line and commit to spend more time in the present; reading, writing, walking, talking, eating, thinking, watching, feeling; I need to awaken from my digital semi-coma.

You’ll know it’s working, if I post an update within the week; if not, I’ve fallen off the wagon.  Logging out……

September 22, 2011 - Posted by | Musings | , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. I love the clarity with which you describe the addiction. I laugh at people who can’t turn their phone off for an hour during dinner. I just don’t get why we think we are more social just because we are available 24/7. I actually shut my phone off for hours at a time and love it! Keep up the twittering on the radio..I tune in most mornings just to hear what it on your mind.

    Comment by Francine | September 22, 2011 | Reply

  2. Good luck in your quest to quit Jane….We’ll miss you….but you’ll be back. Perhaps not as often…but the thrill of discovery is just to hard to resist!

    Comment by Adrienne Blue | September 22, 2011 | Reply

  3. Jane,

    Thanks for sharing the blog post. I, too, have gone through waves of social media addiction. I knew it was time to make some changes the night several friends were finally gathered around the table to share a meal together (for the first time in months) and I looked up to discover we were all immersed in our smartphones tweeting about being at a dinner – instead of being AT the dinner.

    Real life only happens once. I love social media for the connections and conversations it enables, but nothing beats the real thing.

    Amy Taylor

    http://www.brainsonfire.com/blog
    @nomeatballs

    Comment by Amy (@NoMeatballs) | September 23, 2011 | Reply

  4. I simply want to tell you that I am just new to blogging and really liked your web-site. Likely I’m planning to bookmark your website . You certainly have fabulous writings. Appreciate it for sharing with us your web site.

    Comment by Earl Kleinhenz | September 28, 2011 | Reply


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