Plugged and unplugged, words which have added new meanings to their definition in recent years. Gone are the days when only an electrical item was plugged in or unplugged. Now music is unplugged, art is unplugged, ears are plugged and of course our topic for today, social media is most definitely plugged and makes us all feel as if we are also plugged in. Fingers on the pulse, don’t miss a thing, fear of missing out (I am not young enough to say FOMO…), keeping up with the plugged in Joneses. We all like to know what is happening, but do we really need to know every microcosm of information available to us?
Neighbours used to chat over the garden fence or at the butchers about last night’s TV or what Mrs So and So is up to, now we seem to want to actively create our own gossip. We put it out there, of our own accord and we put our family gossip out too. Posts on Facebook, endless photos which used to be reserved for a get together with willing family and friends, a glass of Martini and the slide projector on a flock wallpapered wall or if you were extra fancy, a screen dedicated to slide viewing. An evening of photos from the Costa del Seaside featuring sunburn and out of focus landscapes with the odd castle thrown in for good measure.
Now we feel the need to post every single photo we have ever taken on Facebook for all to see, comment on and ‘like’. Is this a bad thing though? At least family and friends can all see what you are up to, not just the invited few getting squiffy on Bacardi (from the Duty Free shop of course). I do think we rather over share on social media, I am not convinced we need to see you on the beach in your bright yellow cossie twenty nine times. Just because we can take two hundred photos on our phone, to get ‘just the right one’ doesn’t mean that they all need to be shared.
It is nice to see what friends are up to and be able to leave a little comment here and there. I also think that it is still a lovely thing to be able to get together and flick though the albums after a wedding or holiday, have a chat and maybe a craft beer or two.
At least if we are discussing telly face to face there is less chance that Mrs Brown will give away the ending to last night’s Game of Thrones! Social media and spoilers is not a good thing.
Chatting is a good thing though and I think that we can chat with all the people we want to via Facebook or FaceTime or Skype and of course chatty e mails are a marvelous thing too. I love that I have met so many fab souls because and only because of the internet, there is no way I would have got to know these people without it. Blogs, Facebook groups, Instagram are all lovely places to see what we are all up to and find like minded sprites to hang out with either online or maybe you will be lucky enough to meet one day. Hanging out online is definitely a reason I like to be plugged in and not unplugged. Everything in moderation is a good phrase to be applied here I think, chat to your people, but don’t worry too much about keeping up with everything and everyone. Keep up with you and yours, not them and theirs.
Letters, remember letters? When we had to write to our pals across the country or the world and pop on a stamp. Pen Pals. Do people have pen pals now? Email pals? I love that email is so nice and quick, especially if you need something right now, immediately please, but I also love a letter with nice spelling and correct grammar and the handwriting which usually you can read but there is always a vital word which you just can’t figure out. Letters and postcards are the best, postcards from holiday destinations with a photo of the hotel on the front where you have made a biro cross over your room! Yes, more of that please. It was always a rule of childhood holidays that we send out postcards and I still do, they are such a joy to zoom across from city to city or country to country bringing news from afar or not so afar. I love email and it is super useful, but you can’t hold it in your hand and admire the exotic stamp in the corner!
Ironically as I write this, my e mail is not working, I have had no emails for two days now. The horror! Not really, I am sure the latest Old Navy special offer can wait for my attention along with the vital news from Amazon about lingering items in my cart. I have to admit to having a little (okay a medium size) panic when I realized that I was getting no e mails through. I tried to fix it, then realized that I am inept at such tasks and should just get a cup of tea instead and brace myself for a chat with my email provider’s ‘technical support’. My email remains unplugged today as I have school Halloween events to organize and attend, so Target’s latest 50% off will just have to wait.
Are you a plugged in or an unplugged person? Or are you keeping a balance? Everything in moderation.
This post is part of a series inspired by this post from Erin at Design for Mankind. More posts on the subject can be found at Pip’s blog Meet Me at Mikes where we are all chatting in the comments section. Pop over if you like.
I am also adding this post to the fab Weekend Rewind over at Maxabella Loves.