Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained.
I have a problem. It’s an embarrassing and cringe worthy problem. I’m hooked. Addicted. Reliant even on social media plugins.
I have a crush on that little ‘like’ button on Facebook, the Pinterest love heart and thumbtack, share buttons and the comment bar all social media offer. I am so used to commenting on posts, blogs and pins that I recently found myself actively reaching to press the ‘like’ button and comment on a newspaper article.
It’s sad but true. The horror of it extends not to just one occasion but several. Over the course of a week I noticed I wanted to respond to hard copy magazine and newspaper articles I was reading. I not only wanted to register my approval for what the author was communicating with a ‘like’ but I also wanted to actively respond by sharing my view. Alas, my addiction (or habit) revealed itself to me when I was genuinely mystified by the absence of such facilities.
Am I addicted? Have I succumbed to a habit? Or am I simply not being mindful enough? I’m not a hundred percent sure at this stage but one thing I do know is that while I’m quietly horrified I’m not sure it’s all a bad thing. I’m participating right? I’m being actively engaged in what I’m reading. Right? Surely, that can’t be all bad. Can it?
Some time ago a friend (a real life, physical person) spoke about culling her social media friends based on those who don’t participate. She was deleting friends who silently perused without getting involved. I recognised myself as one of those voyeurs. How easy is it to scroll pages and pages without comment, without support, without consideration for what is being shared? I realised it was easy to be a silent witness, a voyeur a non- participant. So, I decided then that I should be more participatory. More supportive. More active as an online user.
From that point on I began to comment and share my thoughts with friends, I’d ‘share’ ideas that touched me and I began to post my own ‘insights’ and daily musings. I’ve actually developed some nice relationships with my online friends.
So you see, while my embarrassment is obvious at my above mentioned faux pas it can’t be all bad that I wanted to respond to offline print. I simply need to do it in another medium. Remember letters to the editor, your view? Goodness, I don’t even have to write a long hand letter to print media anymore. I can now type a well considered, thoughtful email and shoot it away lickety split. So, if I find myself reaching for the like button this weekend, as I’m reading my Sunday paper, I might just respond in the conventional way.
I know I’m uniquely unusual but has anyone else had a similarly uncomfortable experience and found themselves reaching for a non- existent like button?
Cringing at myself but seeing the lighter side of things,