Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thursday's Thoughts: Outside the Screen

Thursday's Thoughts: a taste of what I'm thinking

Wow, it is so refreshing to spend less time on the computer.  What's even more invigorating is this fall weather, but we'll get to that in a bit.  I didn't realize the impact of time spent online until I had a few weeks where I was too busy and too tired to spend much time on the computer. While computer time can be draining, fresh air and sunlight makes me come alive.

When you turn on the computer its sucks you in.  Ever go to send a quick email and end up spending 30 minutes responding to other emails, then forget to write that first email?  Or maybe you're on one site and click on a link to another interesting and semi-related subject, which leads to another page  and another.  Before long your time is spent and there's no getting it back.

I used to check Facebook every day, even multiple times a day.  It often provided the illusion of relationship and staying in touch with people.  In reality it can be very one sided.  I was reading status updates and posts that popped up on my news feed, but not actually talking with the people who wrote them.  You can feel like your involved, and may genuinely be interested, but if you provide no feedback or indication that you're reading, then you're not really communicating.  Sometimes you end up just sitting behind a screen comparing yourself to others.  And by you, I mean me.

I thought I would be missing out by not checking Facebook as often as usual.  Instead, I find it freeing to not know every little detail and update.  My brain is scattered enough as it is without throwing in a million other unimportant factoids. I don't miss what I'm not seeing and randomly scrolling down the news feed really isn't all that helpful.  Lately, I've noticed that when I do go on Facebook out of boredom I end up feeling more down or isolated afterwords.  This doesn't happen all the time, and I'm not saying Facebook is bad. (Settle down, I'm just thinking out loud here.)  As with most things in life, there are good aspects and bad, two sides (at least) to every story.  If you're intentional you can find a healthy middle ground.  For me, Facebook works better if I only go on it with a specific task in mind, such as responding to a message or event or if I have a predetermined need to communicate with a specific person. I'm not saying it will always be that way, or that everyone should do that, it's just an observation.  Okay, I'll hop off that soap box for now, I just needed to process that out loud, you know?

I started this post with the intention of writing about this gorgeous fall weather, not Facebook and computer time.  When I'm outside in nature, everything comes alive, including me.  If I launch into all of that right now this will be too long, so I'll save that topic for next week.  Besides, it would be better for both of us to go outside and experience it rather than write or read it from a screen.

Food for Thought: "You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do." -Eleanor Roosevelt

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