Fifteen hours into my day, totally immersed in my virtual life, I wonder if I should step away from the computer and watch tv to take a break from my work and studies. Nahhhhh, instead, I take a ten minute shower and return, refreshed, to my office chair.
Fast forward 3 hours: following two episodes of Sons of Anarchy, I check the time, It’s 3:00 a.m. (essentially 4:00 if you consider that DST just ended at 2:00 and the clocks have gone back)
Sleep escapes me – nothing new there. As the songwriter Warren Zevon said “I will sleep when I’m dead”. My mind is a veritable pinball machine of activity.
A new project is my personal dealer. The rush of ideas to launch or revitalize a business is my drug. The chance to brainstorm and find a spin to carve a market, to find a niche is my high.
An instant message inquiry from a potential client earlier today pulls at me like a sparkling gem just out of reach and my brain is in overdrive with concepts to market their business. These rapid thoughts, are in direct competition to the forensic detective receptors searching every nook and cranny for ideas for my upcoming Social Media course assignments. The combined effect of which is like “pop rocks” inside my head.
In an effort to tame my brainwaves, I start reviewing my day. I recall that I emailed my Professor beseeching advice on when to slot in the next online course among the 26 scheduled to be completed in the twelve months commencing January 1, 2014. One of my justifications for handling this excessive course load is that “I have no social life”. Why did I say that? I now ponder. Of course I do, don’t I? For sure I have a social [media] life, but have I backed myself into a technology corner? How much time have I spent away from electronic devices today?
Let me truly consider this for a moment…Today, I took the dogs out four times for 5 minutes each time. Fed them twice, me once. Had that ten minute shower…..yahhhh hmmmm? Not really balancing on the “living life to the fullest” scales very well. Even my so-called break from the computer was still in front of the tv, with my ‘crackberry’ glued to my side.
If it wasn’t for the middle of the night tv show along with the YouTube videos I was required to watch as part of my assignment, I wouldn’t have heard another human voice today. I didn’t see a single person, I had no phone calls. No real face to face anything.
I communicated, no denying that. I texted, I bbm’d, I messaged on Facebook, I posted for work, on my personal timeline, wished a friend a happy birthday (gee that seems insensitive now that I see it in print), commented on posts and liked a few things. Reviewed statistical data for clients pages.
Tweeted for work, for clients and myself personally. Connected on LinkedIn for work and school and updated that profile with my college program. Did some reading on WordPress, liked a blog ,forwarded a blog and added some to my “follow” list . Checked to see if there have been any more followers or likes to the blog I prematurely posted on Friday. I hate to admit i am jonesing a little for more reaction there.
I emailed updates to clients, followed up on a repair ticket for the College’s Blackboard, solicited my Professor’s opinion. Engaged on the course’s discussion forum (but not in real time). I read up on all my course material and gathered and printed anything crucial to my first assignment. I bounced around from site to site for a while. Ordered some material off of the recommended reading list from Chapters-Indigo. Updated my calendar with reminders, due dates and appointments.
I uninstalled and reinstalled Twitter on my Blackberry and downloaded the LinkedIn App which I had never bothered to before. Tried to make some Google+ adjustments but hit some brick walls due to missing info I now need to source. Familiarized myself some more with the WordPress dashboard and the Algonquin College Blackboard. Checked the Ontario Colleges website to see if my program offer had been confirmed.
I watched/skipped through a 1 hour video tutorial on social media practices that I randomly came across only to find out it was actually an infomercial. Paid my Bell bill using the online banking app on my phone. I texted my friend some suggestions on how to reduce swelling to avoid an unnecessary trip to emerg after she had overworked her newly replaced elbow.
I watched the video performance “United Breaks Guitars” twice!! Once for the assignment, once for entertainment. Digging deeper into that story led me to the Los Angeles Times where I learned of an LAX airport shooting on Friday and the assassination of two French journalists in Mali. Both distressing and discouraging news reports but also disturbingly my only exposure to the raw and real world.
Did I feel alone or lonely at any point today? No. Not even for a second. Not even as I write this and I become aware that my day was devoid of human contact. Does this happen everyday? No. But if I am truly honest with myself, I have to admit it happens with increasing frequency. I still feel like I belong, like I am part of something and it’s satisfying my visceral social needs. But should it be? Is it time to admit my addiction?
I was lamenting today (by i-m of course) to my potential client that I was forced to postpone meeting them because of the vacation I am due to depart on in 3 days. I explained that it was a themed wedding and admitted that while I would physically be sitting on the beach, my mind would likely be in Canada on my clients and my schooling.
Well, no wonder I’m not excited at the prospect! I’m going to be surrounded by people 24/7 for an entire week. This is newly outside my comfort zone, I’ve lived alone for a year and a half now.
No surprise either that I have organized and printed my assignment notes to take with me. It’s as if I’m about to be sentenced to a mandatory detox.
It’s Cuba!! There wont be internet, there wont be texting or Bbming or Facebook or LinkedIn or Twitter or YouTube or email or Google or WordPress. No course material, no forum. There wont even be a phone.
I will be in complete w i t h d r a w a l….
My subconscious obviously knew this and that’s why I was experiencing no ‘happy vacation’ excitement, why I still haven’t started packing yet and why I am scrambling at the last minute to get enrolled in one more Social Media course before I go. I will need the extra fix upon my return!
This is very puzzling as I have always been an outwardly socially engaging person. A very short time ago I lived to ride atvs and be outside 18 hours a day. Social Media has essentially absorbed my life by osmosis.
Is it just me or has anyone else out there turned into a de-socialized Social Media junkie robot?
Hello my name is Lee…and I am a SocialMediaholic…
p.s. I hate to predict this but…..stay tuned for my next blog: My Cuban cold-turkey holiday nightmare
REFERENCES: United Breaks Guitars: Dave Carroll http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo