Sunday, September 28, 2014

Viewing the World Through Pinterest Colored Glasses

The idea of being a hippie is huge on social media.
The real world.
Social Media has changed the way many of us view the world around us over the past few years.  One of the most profound changes that I have seen is that many people are living in a fantasy world where everything is perfect.  I call this "viewing the world through Pinterest colored glasses." 

For those who do not know, Pinterest is a site where people post pictures that appeal to them.  Many post pictures of a house or a meal or a trick that makes life perfect.  In the world of Pinterest there is no sadness, no anger, no death.  It is a feel good place where life is always peaches and cream.  On Pinterest (as well as Instagram) one can escape reality and show off a life that is all too serene.  It is, in large, a fantasy world.

The world of Pinterest has invaded the rest of the internet, and Facebook is not immune.  While I believe that it is great to look at life with a positive viewpoint, I can not help but wonder what kind of depression people are feeling when they log off their computers and phones and see the world through their own eyes.  A messy house, a broken family, arguments with ex friends, dirty clothes, a dog who needs walked, a pouty stepson, an upcoming divorce, a car that needs fixed, keeping up with the neighbors, overbearing parents and grandparents.  Perhaps living in the world of (a)social media is better to many people, who see pictures of beautiful homes with fine decor, food that is both healthy and saccharine sweet, children who are well behaved and well dressed in ways that are both extra fancy and extra frugal.  Instead of going on a vacation we are bombarded with Photoshopped images of beaches of florescent sand and golden skies with blue water that shimmers unlike anything that exists outside in the real world.  We see a nighttime scene of lights and alleys with people singing, carroling, and carrying on in ways that hint of a perfect world somewhere just out of our grasp.  We try to maintain a feeling of awe and wonder and happiness as we try to ignore the sounds of our family begging for our attention with their real needs and wants.

If only the outside world was like Pinterest where all the water of the Earth is sweet and pure and animals do not die for the meat we eat!  If only the world was like Pinterest where we could all start our own organic farms and live in old cabins in mountain valleys that shined with purple skies and flocks of deer that came to eat out of our hands! 

Much of the Pinterest world reminds me of a snake oil vendor, selling ideas and cures for the ordinary world.  Like a snake oil dealer, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook are dabbling in the idea of life being perfect behind the screen.  "Don't stray from the computer, where life is messy and real.  Everything you need is here"

The world outside is a beautiful place, full of awe and wonder.  Yet, the realities of the world are in stark contrast to the imaginary world that exists through the screen of (a)social media websites.  When one goes hiking deep in the woods there are dangers to be aware of.  When one travels across the world, there is poverty a few meters away from the beaches.  When you see an image of a house that looks perfect, full of furniture that would cost a small fortune and a huge amount of time to acquire, there is the chance of the elements destroying it, of thieves ravaging it, and of time warping it.  The world is not perfect, and one can not hide behind (a)social media and pretend it is.  As humans one of our jobs is to make the world a better place, not hide our heads in the sand of (a)social media and pretend that the world is something that it is not. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Reader Submitted Articles: I've Quit Facebook - All the Better for Doing it too.

I’ve quit Facebook – all the better for doing it too

I MADE the decision on quitting Facebook. You know what? I actually feel better for it. Getting shut of the 'social' networking site has given me a fresh perspective on things. Particularly a reflection on me and my life. I don't think some people on Facebook intend to do this. But a lot of the stuff on there put me in a foul mood. It made me feel inferior and inadequate. It made me feel out I was missing out on a lot of things. Especially from spending a lot of my spare time on FB ­ of which I did! Wasting a lot of time comparing my life with other peoples' 'perfect' lives.  The things that lots of people post on Facebook. A nice meal with their boyfriend or girlfriend, getting engaged, married, having children. Going on holidays and on nights out every weekend.

I know a lot of the stuff people post things on Facebook as if their lives are like a bed of roses. The reality is that their lives probably aren't more exciting than my own. It could be a smokescreen; may very well be a form of keeping up appearances. It's all about the likes and wanting to impress others.

Elsewhere, despite those with their 'perfect' lives on FB. There are also a lot of people who moan and rant about things. Whether it's politics or their football team losing a game. Then you have relationships, so­called 'friends' and family they'll rant about ­ which is usually aimed at them. It’s another form of airing their dirty linen in public.

Seeing that side of Facebook does make me feel better about myself; much in the same way as watching The Jeremy Kyle Show.  My life isn't that bad, I'm doing OK for myself. In truth, I don't care and I don't want to know to be honest.  Seeing the negativity itself give me more reason to quit Facebook.  I've had enough of Facebook.  Enough is enough.  So it was time to call it a day.

It's been over a week since I've quit Facebook. I haven't felt the need to go back on it at all. I'm not interested in what's going on with other peoples' lives. In fact, I don't want to know. There's a lot more to life than spending hours and wasting your time on FB.

The people in my life that matter are my friends and family. Who I call, text, and spend time with. They're the people that matter. Quitting Facebook will also tell me on who are my true friends. That's if they're willing to make the effort to contact me and see me in person. I don't need FB to keep in contact with my friends and family anyway.

There's a long list of people who I had on Facebook as a 'friend' that I couldn't care less about ­ too many in fact! I don't feel the need to let every nosey bugger know how my life is going with some status updates, memes or pictures.

Since quitting Facebook, I haven't looked back. Admittedly, it's been quieter, but it's definitely a good thing. Gave me more time to reflect on things, but also spend it on making myself more useful. I'm looking forward, and I have been using my time with concentrating and living my own life.

I know Facebook is a ‘social’ networking site. If anything, it’s anti­social network. I’m much better off without it.

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