About 2 years ago I wrote an article Social Networking – Useful and Progressive or Harmful and Regressive? It was written following 6 months only of using Facebook. I then joined Linked-In and one of their social groups. Then suddenly and unexpectedly 12 months ago I became heavily involved in Humanitarian Work in India, resulting in writing Mission Neha, available as a free download on this site. Following this I deactivated my connections with Facebook; actually you cannot completely deactivate, but I stopped using it; and I also deactivated Linked-In and concentrated on completing an autobiography A New Human that I started in 1998, but due to a lack of confidence I wasn’t ready to open my life at such a deep level to the public given that it contained uncensored material that challenges much misinformation circulating in many Spiritual and New Age circles; a subject for another article.
Since self publishing the above and A Multidimensional Paradigm I have been advised by others that “in order to get your work out there you need to join social networking sites.” Now, I am already technologically challenged and was fortunate in having the services of a friend Mark Blanchard as Webmaster for my website; but now I am building my own blog and whilst I’m enjoying the experience and many wow moments following many “S…t I’ll never manage this” it is causing me to re-evaluate previously formed opinions, including that of Social Networking.
It’s an interesting process to observe how one is willing to “change one’s mind” on a previous judgement if one thinks it may advantage one. So the past few weeks I have been playing around with Facebook and Linked-In and I admit I may have still not got it but I find it is a huge distraction to what I am really interested and inspired by, and that is writing. I have noticed that my writing progresses substantially when I focus on what I am writing instead of looking at what someone else is writing or what others are up to.
Then I received some concerning news about a person known to me who had been an avid user of Facebook, and looking at their site they appeared popular and happy with over 400 friends. Alas this warm and happy person has over the past few years spent considerable amounts of time in secure psychiatric units, following self harming. I am not suggesting for one moment that this had anything to do with their frequent use of Facebook and I know other problems have contributed towards their well-being, but it does nothing to change my original opinions when I wrote the above mentioned article.
I am in my late 60’s and therefore not of the “New Tech Savvy” generation, as you will notice by the lack of useful “buttons, symbols and icons” and other paraphernalia considered necessary for a good blog.
On a serious note, I do have concerns about vulnerability to social media through lack of a disciplined and discerning approach; also to the sometimes addictive use of computers, ipods,pads,tablets,phones etc ad fintim.
Half the terminologies on this blog for instance I do not understand and whilst I am willing and eager to learn, how much will it really benefit me to know about Rss feeds, SEO, etc? But more than this, I have burning within me lots of things I want to write about, but then find myself spending hours, sometimes days just trying to figure out how to use said technology so that I can share with others of like-mind. What will take many of you reading this hours only to create a blog, it’s taken me months, I was so scared of trying and failing that for months I simply had a banner head with no content. Fortunately I have had guidance from Malcolm living on the other side of the world to me. Well we are living in a “Global Village:)”
I know mobile phones have saved lives and social activism has increased exponentially and I even used an on-line petition myself to raise awareness on the above mentioned humanitarian project.
We are where we are and we are definitely not ever going to return to the days of no blogs, no social networking sites, no on-line forums – unless of course we are scuppered by a huge cyber attack that renders all our technology redundant. Perhaps then we will actually visit and learn all over again how to build meaningful close relationships whereby a stroll in the park brings far more fulfillment than a poke on Facebook.
I’d be interested in receiving feedback on this article, if you can find somewhere to do that on this blog. Hey, my ignorance caused me to “like myself and approve myself” through pressing the wrong buttons! I guess you’ll realize I’ve just learned about inserting links – hope its not distracted you away from the message I want to give:)