I’m pretty sure we all know how much of a time-suck Facebook can be. Only in the last few years has the internet become so accessible EVERYWHERE. Refrigerators connected to the internet? Sweet bacon grease, this is a different world from even when I was growing up. There are positives to being in a perpetual state of connection, but there’s also a darker side.
I’ve loved Facebook since I first joined back when you were only assigned a number and not a personalized name. I’m a pretty social guy; always have been. Through my 36 years on this planet so far I’ve gained (and unfortunately lost as well) a ton of friendships and relationships. For years, if you lost contact with someone that was it. Unless you made a point to reconnect (term actually was in use BEFORE all this internet wizardry), that relationship had served its purpose and was over with. Then along came MySpace and Facebook. All those buddies from high school? That head cheerleader that you crushed on all through your teenage years and wonder how she’d turned out? The military guys and girls who fought side by side with you that you’d heard, through the grapevine, had become a private contractor and were now bankrolling? Well, lucky you! Wonder no longer what had happened to them! Add them as a friend and you could peruse their pictures of their family! You could chuckle at their witty status updates! You could find out what they’d eaten for breakfast! If you checked back later, and they were as addicted as you, you could even see what was for dinner at their place! Yay!
I had done a FB-free month a year or two ago as a result of finding myself constantly checking my FB feed multiple times a day. I mean, seriously, how could you NOT? I’ll tell you right now; I *LOVE* reading through what’s going on in my friends’ lives, but it comes at a price. If I’m not concentrating on what’s going on in MY life, I’m bound to miss something happening in the real world out here with my own family.
All this constant connectivity is hurting us. Studies are showing that being sucked into the internet is like a DRUG HIGH. Scary stuff if you stop and think about it.
So what have I been up to the past month?
I’m about 80% done with the 430 page book “We Need To Talk About Kevin”. Wow. Tell you what; it starts out slow and self-righteous, but once it gets going it completely engrosses you. It’s a terrifying read, especially as a parent.
I’ve been plodding through “The Orchard Keeper” by Cormac McCarthy as well but, as it is his first novel, it’s a tough chunk to swallow. It’s not been an easy read. He’s one of my favorite authors of all time, but this first novel really tends to meander and I’m having a tough time keeping track of who’s doing what.
In this month alone, I’ve written a few varied things and have worked, behind the scenes, on others. Finally put my new story “The Rider” out there in its first installment and have started work on both the second and third parts to this story.
Will I be back online? Of course I will. I really enjoy being able to see my Navy buddies (Stand and Fight!) and their families, along with my current friends (some of whom I’ve only “met” online and found them to be pretty good folks). It’s fun to be connected and to read witty little status updates (and leave some of my own at times). The connectivity is why I don’t just close up my Facebook. I may eventually, but right now I think I’m ready to put my feet back on the treadmill. If it gets out of hand again, I’ll step back. I think every so often we need to get back to the real world.