Tonight, one of the major networks is exploring the unsavory issue of how the social media is costing life, time, family, money, and a long list of other losses.
I posted a teaser on this same topic on my poetry blog: http://paperisnotsilent.blogspot.com/2012_10_01_archive.html with the indication that readers should visit this site for a hashing out of that issue.
The questions I posed over there were: Does life happening outside this page (social media and Web 2.0) prevent my scheduled postings? Does it mean that when I post or stay here or elsewhere online that I have no life?
First, thanks to Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee (World Wide Web), Jack Dorsey (Twitter), Mark Zuckerberg and his roommates (Facebook), Thomas Anderson and Chris DeWolfe (MySpace), and thousands of other internet-connected and Web 2.0 inventors for extreme inventiveness and generosity to humanity. What would life be without the cables (or wireless) tying us to the internet?
Like most things in life (food, television, gaming, texting, telephone, alcohol, coffee, soda, etc.), moderation is the key. With a sizeable online presence, I exercise the self-control that prevents contraptions from swallowing me. I truly do not heave and break out in sweats at the thought of not getting on line. Real life activities bind me to living. Living online does not bind me to life. Following the Weight Watcher philosophy, portions is the way to control overindulgence.
In addition to moderation—but more important–is budgeting: time management. Twenty-four hours exist in a day, undisputed for now (if science does not alter time continuum). Ration the hours wisely. As much as we want to control time by falling back one hour and springing forward during the spring season, we cannot overcome the mandatory restriction on time.
Does life happening outside this page mean that I have no online life? Does it mean that when I stay hooked online for several hours that I have no life outside of it? These two questions are worth considering objectively. I have much to do on and outside the internet.
However, I give so much to my life in the real realm that I try to avoid giving much of my life to the virtual realm. I refuse to deal with addiction in any of its extreme negativity and ensnaring domination. The control freak in me balks at the frightening thought of giving up power over myself to anything outwardly and depriving.
The Department of Family and Children Services is snatching children and charging their parents with endangerment of minors for neglecting their children. Before the internet dominated our lives, TV was the obsession. I once gave my language art students the assignment of turning off the TV for one week and writing about the alternative life they observed and lived.
One child broke down and shook as tears rolled down her face. Operating from shock and disappointment, I spoke with her mother and suggested ways to distract the student from the clutches of the television. Abundant life exists outside the internet or TV or whatever the next ensnaring man-made contraption will come forth. Please get a life and save your time.