For some time, most especially since the election, I have felt the danger of social media. I recognize my own obsession with it, an obsession I desire and despise in equal measure. What I love about it is the ability to connect with people who aren’t within my physical realm, people I don’t or can’t see every day. I like knowing what they’re up to, I like seeing pictures of their family, hearing about the books they read, knowing their triumphs and tragedies - all the things we “post” on our FB pages. I realize how much I need this connection. I realize that this need arises from a deep-seated loneliness I don’t always want to acknowledge. So I’m drawn to this central location, this big virtual village green, place where I can express my “status” - how I’m feeling, what I’m doing, what’s happening in my life - but also a place where I can find out the same things about all of you, all within the comfort of my living room chair.
But I’m beginning to feel the dangers outweigh the benefits. It feels like social media and the widespread dissemination of “fake news” played a major role in the political upheaval that resulted in the outcome of this election. It continues to feed the fire of my agitation and anger, continues to draw energy away from my ability to get on with MY life, despite what’s happening in the rest of the world. And although I think what’s about to occur in this country could be dire, even disastrous, I am selfish enough to want what I want: to get my life back and do something good with it, but also ENJOY it in the process.
Since the most valuable thing about social media is the personal connections it allows me to maintain, I'm suggesting a little experiment, a “project” if you will, for those of you who like projects. For the month of February, I’d like to write you real notes or postcards - Valentines from me to you. When something occurs to me that I might post on FB, I’m going to write it on a postcard or in a pretty notecard and mail it to you. If I come across a quote I think you might find helpful or inspiring, I’m going to write it on a postcard or in a pretty notecard and mail it to you. If I’ve read a good book I think you’d like, I’m going to write the title and what I loved about it on a postcard or in a pretty notecard, and mail it to you. I’m going to become a frequent flyer at the Northville Post office, a small old-fashioned building right across the street from our library downtown.
All you need to do, if you want to hear from me in February is send your postal address to me through this form. And of course, I will be here in this space every week, sharing observations and thoughts about Life In General. You can subscribe to receive those posts in your email, or follow this blog on Bloglovin.
The other half of this equation, of course, is my commitment to quit Facebook and Twitter for the month of February.
I confess, that sounds really daunting. I’m not sure I can do it, not sure if I can cut the cord that connects me to all of you out there. But I want to give it a try.
So, hand me the scissors. Here we go.