Friday, April 19, 2013

How Many Friends Can We Have?

There is so much happening in the world today, or at least that’s what we are told by the media. I would suggest to you that there isn’t anything more happening today than there was last week, last year or a hundred years ago. The Internet has provided the means to inform us of far more than our brains are capable of comprehending. We have allowed ourselves to become inundated with pieces of trivia along with information that might actually be vital for our survival. The trivia almost always wins out. To many people it’s far more interesting, and definitely easier, to consider possibilities or dream and ponder than it is to actually get down to business and do something about the problems we face.

At some point we have to wonder just how crucial it is for us to know that our Facebook friend has forgotten to buy toilet paper (again), is upset with traffic (again) or their cat has done yet one cuter thing than last week (again!). Who cares? What makes us think that our minute-by-minute report should stop time for everyone in our live and even people we don’t know?

If we’re friends on Facebook you know I’m as guilty of posting this kind of information as most people, so I’m not casting stones in righteous indignation. (In fact, I hope you enjoyed the pansy pictures I posted this morning!) Why we post, why we feel the need to express personal details of our lives to the world and why we think anyone will be interested gives me cause for pause.

What can be happening with online media is the same thing that has happened with TV for decades. As we live vicariously through others, either fictional characters or real people, our own lives take on a different perspective. Some things make us feel superior – “I’m SO much better than that!” Conversely, other life experiences may cause us to think that we will never achieve such greatness, thereby failing back into depression and despair at our situation instead of moving forward to better our lives.

The impact of social media on the world today is without question. Governments have fallen and long-lost loves have been reunited. It’s not humanly possible at this point in our evolution to be intimately involved with as many Facebook friends as we have. And while we are busy “keeping in touch” with people we may never see in person, there are loved ones in our own home or community who may be longing for our attention and companionship.

Taking personal responsibility for our own life and how we can impact the rest of the world is the only way to achieve the peace and harmony for which so many search. The place to start is at home…and not in front of the computer, our tablets or mobile devices.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

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