Category Archives: Social Media

Social abstinence the experiment

How’s that saying go again? “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”? so let’s run with it, I’ve started a bit of a social experiment today. I’m going to go off the social radar for a while, just as a cleansing of sorts, but also to see how many people notice. Why am I doing this? A friend of mine recently posted something in a social network that he was feeling rather neglected, so I thought, hmm… how about if I try and see what happens if for a moment I drop off the proverbial radar and figure out if anyone misses me. I did this a while ago, but never really took note of the results. I’ll use this time to do some productive things, perhaps blog a bit more, get back to some of my hobbies and little side projects, or maybe just pick up a good book.

I really enjoy my social network interactions, and I really do feel connected with my virtual friends, but I wonder sometimes if we all take each other for granted at times and instead of realizing that there is flesh, blood and emotions behind those few hundred pixels in a name on a screen, we forget that, and the names, those tiny few letters, actually become the individuals with whom we are interacting? I feel rather childish doing this, figuratively cowering in the corner, feeling sorry for myself and wondering if there is anybody out there who cares. But am I really any different than anyone else on social networks? Don’t we all wait in anticipation for a comment or a reply to what we think might be a witty repartee? I often will type out some deep philosophical query or prose, a sort of, standing-on-a-soapbox-in-the-middle-of-the-park-type post, wanting to express myself, but also perhaps yelling, screaming silently for attention.

Then I catch myself wondering sometimes about the depth of my social network friendships and relationships and of the amount of time and effort I’ve invested in their cure and contemplation, and dare I say it, what real friendships and relationships may have suffered, if at all, in my pursuit of the virtual. I suppose it’s this latter thought that is driving my urge to take a social network hiatus, taking a proverbial boat across the river and take care of my flesh and blood friend and family members for a while.

Will this be easy, no, as I’m almost constantly checking my phone or my computer for any signs of my social network smoke signals, perhaps then it’s time to get back to some simpler means of communication, or as this blog is an example, perhaps some deeper, more contemplative approaches to communication, something a bit more involved then clicking a little thumbs up icon or grabbing a virtual branch and poking someone with it. I’ll let you know how it goes, but I won’t be posting about it on Social Networks. 🙂