Tag Archives: Social Media

Holding On To The Good

I have been thinking again about reining in my time on social media, blogging. I did a post on my other blog Grandmotherly.blog about being over-connected. I just read a post from the Atlantic  by James Hamblin that suggests we do a social media fast every other day to break the addiction. I was thinking of taking a vacation from blogging, which is still an option, but this every other day fast sounds like it would be worth a try.  Otherwise, I have visions of spending the rest of my life glued to my computer and cell phone.

But then there are so many interesting things that I find online from Smithsonian.com, like the West Coast is being invaded by hordes of gelatinous Sea Cucumbers and I have to read about it. Or how about the story of a shriveled human toe, put in a drink called Sourtoe Cocktail in the Yukon, that was stolen then returned. That last one makes me queasy. I am being facetious, but interesting articles about science, nature, quirky comical stuff helps lift my spirits when there is so much bad news.

I have been watching the The Lord of the Rings Trilogy again. We could see it as good triumphs over evil, and maybe too simplistic, but I do find the message inspiring. That even one small person can make a difference in the world. One of the inspiring speeches in the film is by Sam Gamgee to Frodo when Frodo feels despair of ever overcoming all that is against him, all the darkness:

Frodo : I can’t do this, Sam.

Sam : I know.
It’s all wrong
By rights we shouldn’t even be here.
But we are.
It’s like in the great stories Mr. Frodo.
The ones that really mattered.
Full of darkness and danger they were,
and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end.
Because how could the end be happy.
How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad happened.
But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow.
Even darkness must pass.
A new day will come.
And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.
Those were the stories that stayed with you.
That meant something.
Even if you were too small to understand why.
But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand.
I know now.
Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t.
Because they were holding on to something.

Frodo : What are we holding on to, Sam?

Sam : That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.

When the darkness rains down, I must not give up in despair. Have to be courageous and believe in the good in the world. And that even one person can make a difference.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt words for today: rain/reign/rein. Sam’s Speech ‘Worth Fighting For’ via Richurd on edgestudio.com. Featured image of ‘Aqua Tibia Wilderness Sunrise’ by pdpolena on Wikimedia.

How Technology Can Block Our Creativity

How Technology Can Block Our Creativity.  I was coming out of my morning fog, drinking my coffee, and checking out my Email when I saw someone on LinkedIn, Dr. Louis Naude on the Council for Exceptional Children group site, had shared the article above about how so many of us are addicted to our smartphones.  Dr. Naude states, ” If we’re constantly bombarding our brains with input we do not leave much space for creativity.” This has been an idea I have been kicking around for awhile.

If you are walking around, like “the walking dead”, constantly checking your phone when do you have the time to think creatively or think in depth at all? So I was interested to see there is this project, mentioned in the article, at New Tech City called Bored and Brilliant.

In the first post of Bored and Brilliant it says that people who study these things have found that, yes, we do need idle, reflective time for our brains to be creative. Novel idea.

The Bored and Brilliant project has been started to help people get unhooked from their smartphones and start being brilliant. Sounds like a great idea to me.

Here’s a part of their first post:

“Here’s the issue: It goes back to when Apple introduced the first iPhone in 2007 — that’s less than a decade ago. Fifty-eight percent of American adults have a smartphone today. The average mobile consumer checks their device 150 times a day, and 67 percent of the time, that’s not because it rang or vibrated. Forty-four percent of Americans have slept with their phone next to their beds.”

So if you think you may be spending way too much time with your technology it would be worth it to check out this project.

This post is my contribution to Dandelion Fuzz’s weekly challenge. This weeks topic is Social Media.



Making Connections with Social Media

Are we more connected with social media? Facebook is great at reminding me of people’s birthdays and I get to be a voyeur into their lives when they share photos of their latest activities, partners, children, grandchildren or pets. Really I do appreciate being reminded of someone’s birthday because I am very bad at remembering other than my immediate family.  At least I can see that people are still alive when I see their photos. I can wish them Happy Birthday on the right day. I like congratulating them on their achievements if they choose to share. I can click on “like” or make a  comment. But do I feel closer to them? Not really. It is a pseudo closeness.

I resisted Email at first because I felt that it was not a good substitute for letters or phone calls. Then I succumbed to using it because it was a practical way to keep in touch with a distant family member and my daughter when she was in college.

Now the latest form of communication I have adopted is texting. I can see the practicality of texting when I am running around doing a lot and need to quickly remind someone to pick something up at the market or that I am running late. But as an exclusive form of communication, or to check in and say hello, texting is not the best. It is better than nothing and I can use it to make dates to really get together in person or have a phone talk. If it is just having a conversation in abbreviations, I find I can not really get much of a sense of the person I am texting with. With blogging, texting, tweeting or posting on Facebook we do not get the total picture of the person even if we get a photo. What I mean by this is we do not get the body language and facial expression or tone of voice that communicates so much about what is really going on with someone else. We get a few sentences and maybe some emoticons.

We really need to slow down and talk with each other don’t we in order to maintain any real relationship? Do you feel Facebook and texting or tweeting helps to maintain your relationships? Or are you wanting something more? Do you find it distracting and superficial? Like making electronic small talk?

The need to be texting or reading our Facebook page or checking out what is posted on WordPress is a way to entertain ourselves and keep from being bored or lonely but at what cost? It has an addictive quality like playing a video game. It is momentarily distracting and entertaining. It does not make  a demand on us to think about much but the most superficial things. Besides affecting the quality of our relationships I would say it eats up a lot of time we could be using for something more meaningful.

If we let ourselves be controlled by social media it will impact the quality of our lives and what kind of society we live in. If we let ourselves be constantly seduced and distracted by social media it could keep us from fully living our lives. Do you try to balance the time you spend on social media with other activities? Do you make a special effort to un-plug? Do you think it is a good idea to make certain times off-limits to social media or texting like during dinner with your family/kids?

Here is an interesting TED talk on this issue:

Sherry Turkle TED talk Alone Together

Separateness is an Illusion?

We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness.        –Thich Nhat Hanh

When I was about 8 years old I exclaimed to my mother that we are all truly alone because our souls are separate and that we can not know how each of us feels inside. I was becoming aware of existential loneliness.

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It seems nowadays I experience the opposite. How can I possibly feel separate when I open my Inbox each morning to a tsunami of mail.

There are multiple notifications from WordPress and Facebook. Pleas and proclamations from interest groups asking me to sign petitions and donate or warnings about the latest pending environmental disaster, GMOs, and pesticides killing us and the bees. I am concerned about all these issues but I am starting to get “compassion overload.”

I get messages from the library about books being due or coming in and e-lists of book recommendations. I get articles, blurbs, blogs and messages about Art, Ageing, Boomers, adult education and Job Search results.

How can I possibly have illusions of being separate with my Inbox so full?

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It takes a good part of my time to keep the incoming volume of email under control. I think I am going to have to unsubscribe to a lot of this stuff. I really don’t want to have it taking up so much of my time.

But does all this internet interconnectedness really make me feel less separate?


I am aware of my connection with others when I read something that resonates or get a thoughtful or supportive comment on my posts. A ping back and re-blog is encouraging. 🙂

But I have to sort through an awful lot of stuff, separating the chaff, to get those precious grains of wisdom, inspiration, encouragement and real connection.