You have $2400 to spend today. What will you buy?
We are tethered to the internet. We don’t know it until we live without it for a week. It’s connected to our brain through a conditioned response.
We are Pavlov’s dogs and Skinner’s pigeons. Tap the screen, get fed a reward of connection.
Put the phone down for a week, entirely ~ if you can. Or in any non-working moments if you need it for work.
I’m in the middle of a cell phone cleanse right now. I was scrolling. All of ’em. Twitter. TikTok. Instagram. Pinterest. Facebook. Linkedin. Just … scrolling.
Meaningful connections? Not really.
Purposeful intent? I told myself it was. Research.
Writers need to do research, but my two Kindle Vellas are already written, sitting in the queue, waiting their turn to be uploaded.
I just flipped over to my darker screen, instant energy shift. These white pages? They mess with your energy and emotions.
Pavlov’s dogs? You know that one, right? That response to something that isn’t the thing. Introduce humans to social media. Give them some reward for it. Scrolling scandalous celebrity gossip, watching that sham of a court case as dirty little secrets ooze out of the actor’s mouths. Everyone is watching their tragedy as if we’re watching a play, instead of remembering that they are real people. The actors are on.
That’s the morsel of food. Someone else’s drama. Greed. Need. Violence. ~ kibble to an already tense world.
We are addicted to our phones and this craving for what’s going on everywhere else. We scroll for gossip. We troll for nonsensical. We are desperate for a few laughs. Humans are conditioned to stay connected. Just the thought of getting online makes people roll over upon waking, to check their phones.
When we go out to eat or drink, shop or gaze in a park, look all around you.
Are people engaging? Are they staring at their phone?
How many hours a day do you think they do that? Do you do that to?
There’s no right answer.
Nobody has the right to tell you to turn OFF your phone, or how many hours you spend on it.
Social media is still a teenager, but my son’s generation is the first to grow up with it around. FB is 18 now. I connected to it a few years after that, when my oldest daughter went to college. It had its perks. I gained friends around the world.
I’m still friends with some of them. I’ve let go others. I’ve lost a bunch. I’ve seen too many pass away over the past few years. Their social media just … ended. Sometimes, a family member will sign in to let people know what happened.
Then I think about this … on our death bed, are we going to sign in one last time and if so, what would we say?
Public announcement style?
I went through a hella life experience filled with grief, pain, and an assorted array of human emotions. FB took that journey with me, but the people I had been “friends” with ~ told me that they weren’t going to ride the bus when that limo broke down. It only added to the pain.
So I did a blitz of a cleanse. I just unfollowed a whole lot of people. I changed how I use social media. I don’t campaign to gain followers and stopped using it almost entirely. Today, if there are a few hundred there … that’s about it.
Serendipitously, if you want to start an online business, you also have to be wildly popular.
Over the years, I am more and more UN-attached to social media. It didn’t bring me joy. I’m still connected to the meaningful relationships.
Everyone chooses their own idea of what’s right for them.
If you need or want to have 3 million people on your list of “friends’ and that brings you joy, then that’s awesome for you.
I still hear the wisdom of one of the participants in my dissertation on happiness and belonging.
“You could have all the followers in the world, but the truly important connections you have are the people who will bring you soup, when you’re recovering from chemo and can’t get up off the couch.”
She was right.
I stay online in case there is one person out there who feels as isolated and sad as I did when I was recovering from domestic violence, loss, divorce, social and financial ruin and the collapse of my life as I knew it. I had a cancer of the soul.
“Nobody’s coming” ~ as Mel Robbins said.
That’s a reason enough to say, “You’ve got this.” to total strangers.
It’s the purpose of the internet in the first place ~ a purpose we lost sight of a long time ago.
Connection and belonging ~ we are social creatures after all. Just a tip of the ice burg that is social media is all that’s needed.
Laying face down in a pool of our own scrolling is not healthy for our brains.
It’s not healthy for our bodies.
It’s not meaningful, or therapeutic unless you only do it once in a while.
I’m not a big outdoors sort of person, but I listen to my brain craving it.
How about you?
What does your body and brain crave in the way of sunlight, nutrition, connection, safety, water, earth, sky?
The world’s stage is being manipulated (the Skinner/Pavlov thing) into thinking that this unhealthy obsession with social media can replace genuine human bonds. It’s a liar.
Actors conning us into thinking that they deserve our attention? No thanks.
Our time is currency. Imagine that each hour is $100. Are you willing to give away $2400 a day to have nothing to show for it? Other than something to gossip about on TikTok, where arguments rule the school?
I spent 15 minutes on Twitter, FB, Instagram combined yesterday. I spent 15 minutes looking purposefully for Noodle the dog and his buddy Jo (it was a Bones day); American Baron and Elyse Myers. There are doctors and therapists, psychiatrists and other folks in my field who offer wisdom. I intentionally look for them. I intentionally ignore people who live for controversial comments for content. I’m not interested.
You might be and I’m not here to judge. I’m just saying, “our lives have spring and cats, and people and graduation and good things to look forward to” ~ so when a company tells me that I HAVE to sign in to my smart phone in order to do business, I’ll find the exist strategy out of there. I’ll find another company.
What about you?
Where do you put your time?
What do you value most in the time that you have?
Where is your energy?
I started practicing Reiki again ~ this cleanse is part of that.
When we crave something, make it something good, something meaningful, and something that will give back.
You have $2400 to spend today. What will you buy?
I loaded a link to my Kindle Vellas on my main page here. You can spend a penny or two to read them. Tell me what you think. They are fiction ~ paranormal ~ using a different side of my brain to help sharpen the ‘ol pencil. Click on the pic, it’ll take you to the Amazon forest of books. Mine specifically. LOL