I found this article about a month ago and meant to post about it. With some things that happened recently, now seems like the perfect time.
The article basically talks about how opportunities for conversation are dwindling in our digital age, and the author asks participants to withhold from using their cellphones in the company of others for 21 days.
This struck a bit of a chord with me. I am always looking at my phone, and lately it's been getting worse. I can't just "be." I check my e-mail at red lights and check Twitter during commercials. I'm always half-doing something, with the other half of my concentration focused on my Instagram feed. I'm addicted, and it's a problem. I realized this the other night when I got in a bad mood after looking at Facebook, which is ridiculous.
My fiance is not big on social media, and in some ways I envy him. I'm not ready to make the purge, but I did decide to delete the FB app from my phone. I do not need constant alerts as to who checked in where or posted what. It's a small step, but it's the first one (I hope).
I haven't pledged to take the 21-day challenge, but I have been trying to make other small changes. The other night, I turned off my phone while watching a movie. It's sad, but this was major. I never turn my phone off. And guess what? The world didn't end.
So while I've already been questioning my (over)use of social media, the other day my friend Sara was the first to tell me that Google is shutting down Google Reader in July. This is devastating to me. I rely on Google Reader so much. It's how I read all my blogs. But my reaction and ensuing panic also made me stop and check myself. Should I let it go? Am I too reliant?
Sara also sent me a while back an article about the unhealthy pull of Google Reader. I wish I still had it saved -- it was spot on. The number of articles in mine stresses me out. I've gotten better, I will admit, but I still hate to miss anything. Yet, with my obsession of not wanting to miss out on other people's lives ... am I living my own? I barely read, and I never watch movies or TV shows that just I want to watch. Whenever I have free time, I'm checking blogs. This is okay to an extent, I think -- in a way, they are all just forms of entertainment. Yet with fictional media, even if you relate to a character, you still understand that they are part of a story. With this, it's real life, and I think it's harder to keep that distance. This can be good -- it forms communities and builds friendships, but it can also become unbalanced. I feel so wrapped up in the interwebs. It's almost a chore, or an obligation. And that is a problem.
Considering that I've spent half the time it took me to write this post simultaneously searching for Reader replacements, I'm not sure I'm going to change. But, I don't know. I do hope I can improve. I mean, am I crazy? Do you guys feel the same way? Do you use Google Reader?
I feel like I could go on and on about this, but this post is already pretty long, and with no images at that. But do you feel like you are stuck in the technology trap? It's hard to find a balance. I always feel like something is happening that I am missing out on ... but you know what? It is ... my life.
With that, I'm going to sign off!