Week Long Social Hiatus

Last week I took a break from social media.

I don’t know why I never have before. It was nice, and I wasn’t as tempted to check as much as I thought I would be. I didn’t miss anything noteworthy, either. A week isn’t a long time, but it was long enough for me to break my dependence on my phone.

This technology is crazy. I really enjoyed the purge. Yet when I opened one of my social apps up again, which I wasn’t even in a rush to do, all the anxieties and the urges to refresh and get new content that felt so distant during my time away came flooding back immediately.

I’ve put some barriers on my usage before.

Throughout high school, I had a strict policy that if it didn’t happen on my page, it didn’t happen. But I eventually gave into scrolling my timeline and news feed and whatever because I felt like I was being too self-centered.

I turned off all push notifications over a year ago. It was a huge help, but over time the addictive nature of my personality found some other way to obsess and constantly refresh the page when I opened my apps.

Aimless scrolling and obsessive refreshing. I hate it. It’s like checking the fridge every twenty minutes knowing damn-well there’s nothing in there you want. And the past week was the wake up call I needed to actively fight against this crap. I felt so much better not worrying about anything going on that wasn’t directly in front of me. I want to continue being more present in my own life. Y’all don’t need to know half the stuff I usually post about my life online. And I definitely don’t need to know who’s watching, liking, or commenting all the time when I do post content.

So I’ve decided to change three things.

1.) I’m leaving my phone across my room when I sleep so social media isn’t the first thing I engage with when I wake up.

2.) I’m not going to look at who’s viewed my stories on IG and Snapchat, or scroll through who liked my posts. I’ll only concern myself with comments and real engagement.

3.) I’m limiting myself to checking my notifications and scrolling a little bit three times a day for no longer than 30 minutes.

I’m not saying all of this to be profound or anything. I’m not doing anything new or noteworthy. But I think we could all use a sociality check. Sociality, get it? Cause it’s not IRL? Does that work for everyone, or should I stop? I don’t know, but we’re rocking with it for now. By that I mean we should all take a look at our relationship with this technology every so often. If your habits on social media aren’t making you happy, reevaluate how you use it. And there’s no cut and dry answer. A healthier relationship with my socials was taking better control of my time and not letting it run me. It’s difficult, because old habits die hard and I’ve been droning out looking at screens for I guess a decade now.

The psychological effects of this stuff are serious business. The developers of these advancements don’t use them or let their children use them. That’s scary. We’re just guinea pigs, and there’s nothing in the history of humanity that can help us anticipate what’s to come. And what has come so far has been children committing suicide and mental illness skyrocketing with new media-based diseases being coined every year. I don’t know what the answer is. I don’t know what’s being done or what could be done for the mass public to practice better habits around social technology. So until then, the responsibility rests with individuals. And this individual is trying, at the very least. This is a topic that really interests me. I went to and am going back to school for Emergent Media Studies and Production. If you’ve made changes in how you navigate the web and the socials, let me know and let’s exchange notes and stories.

The End of Eloquence

You know what occurred to me recently?

There is a generation of people now, who aren’t older than the acronym “LOL.”

Think about that.

Children today have never known a world without LOL. Does that not horrify you?

Well at least not older than the rise of LOL. Because it’s apparently 25 years old this year. But I can’t think of it truly being a thing without such agents as AOL instant messenger and other such applications. And AIM came out in 1997. So let’s say LOL didn’t start permeating our culture until around then.

But dang, guys. You remember pre ’97 English? Back when in school the subject was known as language arts? Words were more powerful, and music held more weight to stir your mind. There’s a band called LMFAO now. They were short lived, and thank God. But it must be recognized that they were a thing that happened.

I feel like we should start time over again, with the history of the world before 1997 being BL (before LOL). And we can start chronicling the decline of the English language since that point in PL (post LOL). Because LOL was pretty much the beginning of the end.

I mean, the English language has never been the most respectable or glamorous language,

but watching its further deterioration just saddens me. I love words. I love the power of eloquence. It’s amazing what you can do when you know how to speak or write, but it’s becoming less appreciated so it seems. And that’s part of my drive to learn other languages. I mean, when you learn that language affects how you think (I was going to link a scholarly article, but cracked.com gets the job done just fine), and we’re using omg, brb, and lawl in ours at this point in time, just what hope do future generations even have at being intelligent? Lawl though. It’s not even an acronym anymore. It’s just a phoneticized version of lol as if the use of lol needed to be extended! Just speaking English is no longer a satisfying knowledge base for an avid lover of words such as myself. Plus, Japanese has words like this:

Yuugen

As if all these acronyms weren’t bad enough, now emojis are a thing. And they’re everywhere. I’m really slow to catch on to trends, and I’ve never had an iphone, so emojis have been lost on me for…however long they’ve been around. I didn’t even know my phone had the capability to produce them, but it does. Not like I’ll be using them any time soon.

But I’ve only really noticed them in the past year or two now that they’re all over social media, and I just don’t get it. I don’t understand the appeal, and I refuse to use them. Is this what old is? Because I feel like a fogey still using : ) and : P, and those I was resistant to use for the longest too.

I don’t hate the use of emojis completely. I mean use them if you like. I only truly get irked when I see people trying to make whole “sentences” with emojis alone.

No.

Stop it.

You’re a grown adult, what are you doing.

If it’s not hieroglyphics or Chinese, you aren’t making a sentence with pictures. I’m sorry but sit down.

My friend was telling me about this text conversation she was having with some guy, and she asked him a question, a question that demanded a direct yes or no answer, and she got some laughing emoji in response.

Um…what the expletive? Was that supposed to mean something? I don’t get it. I just don’t understand this world.

No, no, no. I don’t think so. Anybody that answers me back with a measly emoji doesn’t get saved into my contacts. Words, fool. Words. 

Emojis are a threat to language, along with text language. You can think I’m overreacting all you want, but I can’t help but see Idiocracy slowly becoming a reality. Actually, not even that slowly.

The not so distant future of emojis

The children of the LOL era are driving age now. Let’s all be grateful that STOP isn’t a very long word. I wonder what the emoji children will be like in another 15 years or so.

I will continue to love words, and try to encourage others to do so too. How I long for a world where I’m not laughed at for replying to how are yous with, “I’m doing quite well.” -sigh-

A random note, but one of my favorite blogs is called Otherwordly. If you like words, and like learning about how other cultures think and speak, you should check it out. There are some amazing concepts out there that we don’t have words for. It’s where that graphic for the Japanese word yuugen came from. So anyways, that’s my rant. Welcome to Costco, I love you(That’s future speak for bye).