WDWDWF (What Did We Do Without Facebook)

During these weeks that fly by with such crazy speed, I find it harder and harder to keep up with life, emotions, and the state of the world. I have not watched the news in months. I stay connected with morsels of information from Chris, whatever pops up in my Facebook feed, and the few moments I am at my desk at work with glances to see what is happening on CNN on the television in our area. Not too connected you might say?

Well, Facebook always tells me when a famous person dies, with friend’s status updates stating: “RIP, ________.” Or if there has been a plane crash, weather disaster, or incident in the world, my Facebook feed might say: “You are in my thoughts, ________.” I even know what job, home, or city my friends would be suited for based on the quiz they just took and shared. Or what level of Candy Crush they just completed. And, worst of all, whatever product I just searched for on Google, will now show up in my Facebook feed as a “Suggested Post.” So the news just follows me, I rarely have to go find it.

I almost forgot, I started following the No Poo group on Facebook, and now every other post is about someone who has failed or succeeded at removing toxic shampoos and conditioners from their personal care routine. Don’t get me wrong I have learned tons of new insights, but it is a lot of information and crazy amounts of people chattering on my Facebook feed. How to dye hair and stay “no poo”, how to get rid of frizzy hair and not use toxic product, how to start out on low poo, or mothers that have never washed their kid’s hair. I can only imagine what other “groups” discuss and at what frequency. It is like Dear Abby on steroids on every topic imaginable.

At the end of the day, some of it is worthless, some of it is so-so news, and some of it is just hilarious. WDWDWF? (What Did We Do Without Facebook)? We sent more texts, emails, and picked up the phone and talked to each other. Go figure. Before that we wrote letters (yes, I miss the lost art of letter writing). These days the only items I get in the mail are junk and bills. An occasional letter, yes, but that is the exception.

In any case, I am grateful that it is Friday as I look forward to a few extra hours of sleep tomorrow, time to catch up on emails, clean my house, run some errands and eventually curl up with a good book. Not too much to ask right? Oh, and I will probably take a few moments to peruse the mindless chatter on Facebook. Either it will be a waste of my time, or I will laugh, share, and like what you have bestowed on my feed.

Do you want to feel truly connected with others?

Do you ever have a conversation with someone only to realize they are in another world? Their mind is thinking about Facebook, the text they just received, the email they need to respond to? We are now such a highly connected society that we often do not go more than an hour without having connected with someone that is miles away from us, yet we struggle to sometimes connect with the person that is sitting right in front of us.

A few months ago I finished reading the book: “Program or be Programmed” by Douglas Rushkoff. A few days ago, I was reminded of Rushkoff’s book, after an interaction that just felt too on the surface to me. We have become a society that just takes from the top layer. We are getting farther and farther away from going deep. Our world revolves around the moment by moment distractions of our phones, tablets, and what is happening on the Internet. Rushkoff says:

“A society that looked at the Internet as a path toward highly articulated connections and new methods of creating meaning is instead finding itself disconnected, denied deep thinking, and drained of enduring values.”

My question is what can we do to get back to deeper values, connected conversations, and quality interactions? I also like what he says here:

“Faced with a networked future that seems to favor the distracted over the focused, the automatic over the considered, and the contrary over the compassionate, it’s time to press the pause button and ask what all this means to the future of our work, our lives, and even our species.”

I want to take another look at my moments and interactions and see how I act. I already know that I am a multi-tasker. I at times applaud myself for all that I can do at once. But, am I doing things better? Am I really focused on all that is happening around me? Could I provide more quality to whatever activity that I am doing by being completely 100% connected and aware?

What do you think?