Social media is exhausting me. I joined Facebook in 2016 because it was a requirement for my animal communication classes. After almost two years involved in it, my honest opinion is that I loathe it. It’s one endless, never ending vortex of clutter that incessantly enslaves and consumes our most precious resource of existence: time. I’m often told that in this day and age one must be a part of it in order to have a business. It’s the way of the world and how the majority of human beings get their information. I play along and minimize my activity as much as possible, although it’s hard to find a balance.
I miss the days where I could read non-stop with any distraction other than the telephone ringing. There was no checking in or being bombarded by every person you ever met posting their thoughts, pictures, and day to day lives. I read a newspaper in the morning, the ink smudging my fingers, and books; lots and lots of physical books. For me email has been the real revolution; writing back and forth with such ease. Social media on the other hand drives me nuts and adds an anxiety that I did not previously have into the already burdensome experience of life. I don’t want to be aware of what people do every day. It’s nice for them that they travel, and love their families, but I’m really not all that interested. If I want to know something, I’ll request the information personally.
I can’t say it’s all bad. I’ve been able to stay in touch with people I really like who live all over the world. I’m able to receive instant feedback with colleagues that can be extremely helpful. A few of my Facebook friends alert me to articles that I would never come across otherwise. It’s not completely black and white even though I’d prefer to live without it. I’ve made it a point to get back to reading without intrusions as much as possible. There’s nothing like becoming deeply engrossed in a book and getting so absorbed that I lose track of time. I’ve never read on a Kindle and I don’t plan to. I love the way a book feels in my hands. I love underlining sentences that I know I’ll want to return to. I love the way the spine looks on my shelf, a reminder of information I gained that added to my range of knowledge and depth of feeling.
A lot of children growing up now have no idea what this feels like. They read snippets all day on their phones and peruse their friends never ending stream of photographs on Instagram. I don’t love getting older, but I’m glad I existed without these platforms that have taken over the waking hours of human beings.
Animals don’t have to deal with any of this. Another reason I love them dearly.