Easy to do but a trap within it contains,
To compare what’s due with what now remains,
Colouring by numbers – quantity’s adored,
Open the mind now to what’s new to be explored.
Hastens the spirit driven beyond its means,
Harnessing annoyance about the spirit leans,
Tunnels deeper it does now into the mire,
Further and longer upon Facebook’s spire.
Blogging and ‘fan pages,’ where does it end,
The time when inner spirit comes forth to mend?
There’s two games played – only one’s true,
The other’s the distraction – one we’re slow to rue.
More and more come to find it embarrassing,
The practice of time waste, laziness and comparison,
The moment’s come to break clear and free,
To become the person we’re set now to be.
It seems we’re destined for discontentment to the measure of our comparisons—whether that is by the numbers of “likes” we receive as compared with what we feel we’re due, adding to that the envy we feel due others’ popularity. (This is an unsaid elephant-in-the-room thing most people feel but struggle to admit, especially to themselves.)
This Social Age is fast revealing, at our inquiry, the paradoxically emptying feeling of relational distance.
The more we relate with those at global distance the less we socialise with those in our own homes. We’re drawn to the computer to check our notifications, emails and friend requests, only to be forlorn at the prospect when others are taking a break.
Don’t they know we need them? It’s embarrassingly true.
We’re fast becoming more isolated, not less so.
A Competitive and Isolating Endeavour
When life takes this approach—comparisons made, quantities counted and life lived shallowly and on auto-pilot—it’s not only the numbers characterising our ‘success’ and therefore our level of life contentment, but it’s leading to an emptying of lived experience. As if life could be anything close to satisfactory when it’s lived in front of a computer all day or all night? (Unless that’s our job and we can feel some sense of productivity this way.) The same challenge remits any time-wasting engagements.
Perhaps our quest is not so much about reacting by taking a complete break from this life-voiding electronic nemesis, but setting our sights (and standards) on the appropriate use of it. For it is not going away. It is part of the world we live in now.
Let it serve us and not the other way around.
The Real Message of Life
Funny it seems that we live an average of over 25,000 days here on earth. It’s a lot or not enough depending on our perspective.
We cannot afford to waste our time; especially family time. It’s too precious. Of course, we all know that. But do we live it?
In our electronic age—and Facebook’s just one nemesis—there are very many gadgets designed to aid life not overtake it.
The real message of life is: enjoy it. Don’t colour by the numbers; colour by the imagination. Be the artist. Create every living day.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.
Graphic Credit: http://thenextweb.com/facebook/