Addicted to Social Media?

It’s amazing how really shameless we can be. The personal adverts have gone up since the advent of social media. Hand held devices have made it more ludicrous. Per second adverts of what we’re doing, eating, thinking and the people we’re with. There are some things that are best left unsaid but this seems to be the age of TMI (i.e. too much information) and so those in our inner, close and very distant circles get to know really personal things.

A while back, I read about a burglar that got his information off Facebook. Many statuses keep others abreast of summer vacations, appointments and family outings. He simply keyed in and made good use of what was out there. In simple speak…afowo fa for those eventually robbed. So there’s no need to use Craig’s list any longer, just update your BlackBerry, Facebook etc to let everyone (literarily) know what’s happening with and to you!

There have also been instances where this information has been put to good use. About two years ago some children in Australia got lost and when their Facebook status was update a friend online at the time saw it and alerted their parents and authorities that were already searching for them. So this self-absorption has paid off in some cases. In this particular case the question that came to mind was, what would have happened if the friend hadn’t been online at that point in time and seen the new status one of the children had put up?

The social media has also been helped to mobilise movements, help people and spread information. Unfortunately it has also been the bane of misinformation. I think some people, somewhere get bored and decide to send out something that’s slightly juicy and relatively credible and time how long it takes for it to return. As a result of this, I’m now more discerning about forwarding emails or broadcasting broadcasts. The first thing I do is read (obvious huh?) and if I’m inclined to send out I try and verify it, if this can’t be thoroughly ascertained then I don’t get involved. I also try and say a word of prayer just because I couldn’t get anyone to confirm the veracity doesn’t mean it’s not.

I’m constantly intrigued by the fact that people don’t switch off their cell phones…at all! Some even check for messages if they happen to wake up briefly during the night. They’re so addicted that turning over, they automatically reach for their phone and look for anything new. i’ve seen this happen and still don’t understand it! Some of the bad cases include those that walk and check for messages (been guilty of this a few times so I completely understand!), the absolutely worst case scenario are those that drive and text! Like I read somewhere online…this is the equivalent of holding a loaded gun to your head. Statistics don’t lie and the fatalities for drinking and driving tell a story, those for messaging whilst driving are more frightening and should stop sane people from doing it…EVER!

The human race is yet to acknowledge sanity as one of the virtues it holds firm, so we have six billion people showing glimpses of madness for either short periods (normal people exhibit this all the time!) or more consistently over a longer period. With this crazy trait in place, we have people that drink and drive, abuse drugs and other substances, drive and text simultaneously and so wind up dead. Often enough we may know people that do this but we don’t try and sound a note of warning for them to stop.

It’s a given that we can go overboard and abuse almost anything! It seems to be human trait that crops up unexpectedly. Balance is the only way to compensate for this anomaly and is easier said than done. The difficulty doesn’t mean it’s impossible. We can keep from falling off the edge by constantly querying personal decisions and actions in every situation. Maybe when we keep vigil over seeming innocuous acts then sanity could prevail in every circumstance. Sometimes it starts by taking a break from mobile devices, updates and social media…set yourself free!

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