My life before the social media giants took over

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My life before the social media giants took over.

Before Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram occupied most of waking hours there were Skype, Ryze, and private networking forums. Communication platforms where real relationships were built. There was knowledge shared, support given, and lifelong friendships made without boundaries of race, religion, sexuality, political beliefs, or geographic constraints.

Thoughts were shared and discussed. Confessions were made. Problems were solved. Fears were heard. Opinions and differences were respected. Technology was shared and taught. Knowledge was not monetized, it was shared. Blog posts were honest, vulnerable, and raw.

Then something happened. Mobile technology happened in mass. Twitter and Facebook happened and suddenly our safe, loving, respected virtual relationships were opened up to the world. Our neighbors, family members, and in real life friends joined. They joined the conversations, they judged and things changed.

We all got lured over to the excitement of the new platforms while our old, supportive ones faded away.

At first, Twitter was magical. I met many of my local in-person friends via Twitter. And, like my early virtual friends, my Twitter friends changed my life. That was 10 years ago. Twitter has changed. Facebook has changed. We have all changed. More often than not, I find myself agitated by posts or feel misunderstood by people who read my posts. The human connections and flow I used to feel seem gone. I think I go back every day hour looking for it. Facebook, I am not even sure why I go back there. Maybe to keep the very thin connection it holds to my family and old childhood friends.

I am not sure where the next frontier in human connection is going to happen. I think maybe it is time for the pendulum to swing and we go back to the good old fashioned face to face, one on one time with each other.

“If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you are with.”

Maybe if we put our screens down for a few minutes we will remember or discover those people right in front of us, or next to us in line for coffee.

I am putting my screen down right now to have coffee with my wife.

One thought on “My life before the social media giants took over

  1. Suzanna Stinnett

    You know what? I’m glad you’re writing these posts. Maybe getting back to these kinds of posts is a solid step forward in deepening our connections once again. I’m starting my Medium stuff up again and I went to sign in. It’s been, um, years? I have this one post there about maps and the brain and doodling and journaling mappily. It kinda blew my mind because of what I’m getting ready to do now, which is use road maps to go be face to face with human beings far from the place I call home. Knowing it’s for the brain and for creative expression and for connection. For me, I didn’t really have those connections you describe through my blogging ten years ago. I didn’t really have that support and understanding and relationship-building UNTIL Twitter and Facebook. And I still totally have that, pretty much as it has always been. It seems to be a profoundly individual experience. And maybe it’s to do with the people in one’s circle, too, if they change, or are just seriously falling apart right now because, obviously. It seems that for some people, the urge to go look again and again, looking for…I’m not sure what…I guess when I take a look at my Facebook it’s mostly to check if someone is trying to respond to me on a recent photo I shared. Twitter, well, again, I just look through hashtags, and check if someone’s talking to me on a message or something. I look at what large groups are doing on Twitter. I’m sure I’ll use it on the road. Groups on Facebook, too, are an extremely rich source for me right now. I seem to have adjusted to the tenuousness of those contacts in the groups. I don’t know those people but we are supporting each other down to the quick. Especially the antidepressant withdrawal groups. They are friggin amazing. Immediate, personal, intense, voluminous support. I can also go to a website outside of Facebook for a forum with similar support but frankly it is not as immediate. It’s all changing. We’re all changing. There’s really no choice, because when the entire context of life changes, our relationship to that life has changed. So maybe what we do mostly is adjust. The Big Mystery rolls on, and on, and on. My only response to the aching heart is to carry it in front of me and go where it wants to go. It’s so rich and sad and gorgeous and joyful and iridescent and so, so, so temporary. Love you! — Suzanna

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