Friday, October 7, 2016

Let's Talk Social Media and Technology

Typewriter
Public Domain Image
Oh, it used to be so much easier, I think. Someone called you and you picked up the receiver and said, "Hello."  You wanted to "type" something and you sat down in front of the ole typewriter and went to town. No?  You think it's easier today with smart phones, ipads, computers, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, Snapchat, and on and on and on....aaaaghhhhh!!

I guess you could say I am on technology overload right now.....

You may have noticed I haven't posted in almost two weeks. It's been a combination of things that has kept me from it, including taking two pretty much back-to-back online courses about using technology and then coming down with a case of...I don't know....the crud? Fever, stuffy head, sneezing, sore throat...ugh. It hasn't helped my temperament that's for sure.

Perhaps I have officially become a curmudgeon....

It's not that I don't want to learn new things and keep up with the times. I really do. But, there seems to be so much to keep up with. I will now reveal a secret. I had never joined Facebook until earlier this week. Yep, it's true. I just never saw the point and plus we were always being "warned" about Facebook as teachers, so I just decided to stay away from it. Until this week, when I was required to join a Facebook community for one of my online classes. So, I caved and set up an account. Just doing that much seemed like a huge step for me. But, then, our teacher...a really kind and knowledgeable man by the way....has had us doing video talks with him in Hawaii and delving into all the opportunities for online publishing. I never knew so many opportunities existed! Perhaps it's the fever talking, but I am overwhelmed right now by possibility.

Maybe there can be too many choices?

I don't know about you, but when I am presented with too many options and choices I kind of feel like I have been blindfolded and someone is turning me around and around in circles. The blindfold comes off and I'm so dizzy I don't know which way to turn.

That's how I feel about technology and social media right now. I'm dizzy....

Starting this blog a little over a year ago was a tremendous technology leap for me.  Then, I discovered Pinterest and then Google+. I figured out how to join circles on Google+ and connect my blog posts to my Google+ page and to my communities. I discovered how to save things I find online and like to my Pinterest page. I can reply when someone leaves me a comment on the Google+ page. I thought I was....you know....with it.  I'm cool, I'm cool, oh yeah.....

And then I joined Facebook

Oh my goodness, people.  I have entered a whole new world of friends and family and acquaintances and comments and sharing and commercials and.......

I kind of feel voyeuristic....

I feel like I am able to look into peoples' lives and their photos and their comments and I see what people are writing to me...none of it bad...but everyone else sees it too....I think....I'm still learning. And more and more people keep showing up or are recommended and I see folks from years ago that I knew.

And I'm not sure how I feel about it....

Somehow, even though it's been really great to see people and to glean some of what they are doing right now, I can't help but wonder....

Are we losing our privacy? 

Do people really need to care that I had a great summer vacation?  Do they really need and/or want to know that I ate Tacos last Tuesday? (Just examples, mind you.)  Does everyone need to connect with me and do I need to connect with them? And yet, I feel that tug....that pull....to look.....to post.....to share..... OK, so I think some questions need to be asked. At least from my perspective....

What is relevant?

I guess people will answer this differently. What is relevant information to one person may not be relevant to another. But, shouldn't we be asking this question? And, maybe even, talking about it?

What is meaningful?

What brings good to someone else's life?  What uplifts and encourages, rather than tears down?

Where do we draw the line?

Maybe there are some things that are better left unsaid, or unshared, as the case may be.  And, how much time should we be devoting to sharing and clicking and liking and plus oneing and on and on and on?

These are questions I'm asking myself.  You may already have the answers. 

It's a whole new world out there with technology, people. Maybe I'm just late arriving at the party....

But, at least at parties, we talk face to face with human beings. 

I hope we never lose the ability to talk face to face with one another. Even if it's on Skype or Zoom or Google Hangouts. I have to tell you, I get a little concerned when I see folks never diverting their eyes from their phones. Even while they drive or walk down the street.

I don't want to get too plugged in.

And, as I say this, what am I doing?  Oh yes...typing on a computer after which I will post it to my blog and then upload it to Google+ and then post it on my Google+ communities and then.....very likely....share it on Facebook.

Sigh....

Am I too far gone with technology?  And should I be worrying about being too far gone?  I know, this is the wave of the future. Sink or swim, right?  Although, the way I feel right now, I'm treading water and may need a lifeboat soon. Anybody paddling my way?

I'm taking a brief step backward....

I did make one decision that moves me backward and not forward with technology. I'm changing from a smart phone back to a flip phone. It just seems so much easier to me. No more swiping on glass surfaces and screens freezing and blackouts and having to pop the battery. I know...I'm hopeless.

Just flip the phone open and say, "Hello." It's not that different from picking up a receiver.

Dumb phones rule.  Talking face to face rules.  And, yes, I am a curmudgeon.

Oh...and if you like this post, or it gives you food for thought, or you can relate....you might want to share it on Facebook or Google+ or Pinterest.

Sigh....

Until Next Time,
Debbie


Linking With:

Not Dressed as Lamb









6 comments:

Sharon said...

Wow, Debbie! You have put into words so many of my frustrations and my fleeting thoughts as I have used technology. Quite a few times, when my husband and I are eating dinner at a restaurant, I have witnessed entire families watching the screens of their devices, never once looking up or conversing with each other. Technology certainly has its place and its conveniences, but like you, I believe it cannot replace face to face contact and conversation. Even the focus in schools now seems to be technology, technology, technology. I'm not sure it is always just used as a tool but rather is seen as an end in itself. As a retired teacher, I missed the focus on deep book discussions, Paideia seminars, and debate. All of these are not so technology-centered but are so important for a child's development in critical thinking. I yearn for the days when people sat on their front porches at dusk talking and watching fireflies or lingered after dinner to continue conversations. From time to time, I try to have an "unplugged" day, and at the end of those days, I find myself being calmer and more clear minded. So, thank you for your post. It was thought provoking about a topic that certainly speaks to today's culture.

Deborah Ross said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Sharon. Well said!

Karen said...

Okay Debbie, I am still using my old feature phone with the slide out keyboard, people look at me like I'm so out of it. I only use it for a phone anyway, and it is WAY cheaper than a smartphone. I even have a film camera I love. Also have digital, but the pics are not as good. I am old fashioned, so what. I feel like you, we are losing real face to face contact because email is easier, bad news delivered via email gets us off some imaginary hook, technology is taking over. I think our brains are getting lazy. Our culture has changed, and not really for the better. I am on Facebook as my cat and my kids are my "friends" and that is enough for me. Weird thing about Facebook. I am organizing a symposium at work and have contacted speakers via my hospital email, where I work. Last night at home, one of them popped up on my Facebook, on my tablet, that I never used to contact them. Also, the sister of a friend I don't even contact on email. coincidence? I fear not. I was stunned, felt like I'd been invaded. Technology can be good. It can be great if it allows you to work remotely, sitting on the beach instead of in an office. It is great for looking things up easily. We need to find our balance and know our limits, or set personal boundaries. I admit a more than passing interest in pinterest boards, that is my guilty pleasure! But after what happened on Facebook last night, I'm treading cautiously in tech areas.

Karen said...

Okay Debbie, I am still using my old feature phone with the slide out keyboard, people look at me like I'm so out of it. I only use it for a phone anyway, and it is WAY cheaper than a smartphone. I even have a film camera I love. Also have digital, but the pics are not as good. I am old fashioned, so what. I feel like you, we are losing real face to face contact because email is easier, bad news delivered via email gets us off some imaginary hook, technology is taking over. I think our brains are getting lazy. Our culture has changed, and not really for the better. I am on Facebook as my cat and my kids are my "friends" and that is enough for me. Weird thing about Facebook. I am organizing a symposium at work and have contacted speakers via my hospital email, where I work. Last night at home, one of them popped up on my Facebook, on my tablet, that I never used to contact them. Also, the sister of a friend I don't even contact on email. coincidence? I fear not. I was stunned, felt like I'd been invaded. Technology can be good. It can be great if it allows you to work remotely, sitting on the beach instead of in an office. It is great for looking things up easily. We need to find our balance and know our limits, or set personal boundaries. I admit a more than passing interest in pinterest boards, that is my guilty pleasure! But after what happened on Facebook last night, I'm treading cautiously in tech areas.

Deborah Ross said...

I hear you, Karen. Glad to know others are like me still using the older technology and there's not a thing wrong with it! We use "pay as you go" as well which is no contract and keeps things cheaper. Love your idea of using your cat for facebook. You are taking control and using technology in a way that works for you!

Julie Wunder said...

Ohhh Debbie! I feel ya!! I'm always so attached that sometimes I need to literally put my phone in another room to unplug. It's SAD!!! Social media is a joy and curse all at one time.