This is a little different than what I usually do, but I stumbled across two articles that provided me with so much insight about how we are affected by social media and smartphones/technology. 6 Ways Your iPhone Is Changing You and Facebook Obsession and the Anguish of Boredom Good stuff. I highly recommend them. But there’s one thing in particular that really got me thinking, this quote from the article about how our iPhones (smartphones) change us:
As Neil Postman suggested, communications technology, like email, is ghost-to-ghost more than person-to-person. There is something of us in an email, but there’s more to our personhood that doesn’t get sent. In an email we send our ghost. The same is true of this blog post.
So social media and email (disembodied communication) can be a very useful extension of our embodied relationships, but not a replacement for them.
My Ghost. Interesting especially when I think about blogging. Yesterday my dad encouragingly pointed out that my last few blog posts, while hopefully helpful to some, were only about my struggle. He was right and truth is only reading about a person’s uphill battle eventually gets depressing and since most of the people can’t see me everyday they don’t know that I’m known for being the happy one or the at least the one that (I’d like to think) has good conversation with most everybody. My life is far from perfect, but it is wonderful and full of purpose and that knowledge of knowing that I’m living for something more makes all the hard days worth it.
The struggles that I go thru are simply because I’m not content with what’s handed to me. They’re growing pains and they’re not fun, but they’re worth it, otherwise I would have thrown in the towel long ago. Buuuut struggles is not all there is. Because of the push that I try to give, my life is full of smiles that aren’t trying to mask pain, friends that know who I am and not who I pretend to be, a job that isn’t perfect but I don’t wake up hating everyday, and a drive that isn’t determined by my mood and emotions.
On completely different note in thinking about my blog posts as being my ghosts of who I am, that gives me a better understanding and perspective about how I want to go about writing. Every time I put something out there, anywhere, that’s not face to face, it’s only a ghost of who I am. How eerily beautiful, but also extremely profound. Each of you writing this, no matter how well you know me are only experiencing a ghost of who I am and for blogging that’s perfectly okay. I want to be more intentional about what exactly my ghost is communicating more than the words my ghost is saying.
But also, I want to make sure my ghost is only employed when necessary. Different avenues of communication give me the opportunity to bring more of myself to the table compared to others. My blog allows me to put more detail into it more than a Facebook status; a phone call more than a text. Sadly, sometimes my ghost has more communication than I do most days. Insecurity, pride, self-centeredness, distraction, whatever, they all contribute to us not really living, just existing in the real world and investing in a virtual fantasy.
I’m not unaffected by this draw, but my love language is Quality Time (which I’m fairly certain I get from my dad 🙂 ) and I can definitely tell just how much social media and technology are affecting the way we interact with each other. Increasing quantity is not at all efficient or effective in the when you think about the whole point of communication. Quantity should not even come into play.