I was just thinking this morning how much I hate Social Media. I hate being so connected all the time. As a human it stops me being able to enjoy the present in my life, as a writer it stops me being able to crack on with writing.
It’s like Social Media causes this fracturing of my thoughts, and where I used to be able to trace a thought from seed, to growth, to conclusion, there are fracture lines which stop me getting to the conclusion and I’m left with a brain like a sieve, feeling like I’m constantly trying to catch up with my to-do list, with myself even.
It even seeps into my conversations with people. I start a line of conversation and then halfway through forget what I was saying, become confused and get frustrated that my brain won’t function the way I want it to. I swear a lot of it has to do with being so connected to everything right now, this instant, having no time for my brain to breath, to absorb what has been chucked into it, to process at its own rate, and then to function on that input.
I say a love-hate relationship, but I don’t think I’ll ever love Social Media. I like it, for sure, I can definitely see its uses, I like keeping connected with friends around the world – just this morning I was chatting to someone in New Zealand, and I love getting connected with other writers, getting to know other people who do the same thing I do with the same passion, and who can encourage you and give new opportunities to you.
But I think I’m always going to be tossing between love-and-hate, like waves throwing my small self about. I think I’m always going to struggle with knowing when to switch off my phone so that the whole world can’t contact me every second of the day. So I can be alone with people in the present to process.
This is especially true as a writer. How am I supposed to have the seed of an idea, let it germinate, and see myself creating another world with its own characters if I never give my brain the chance?
I feel like human beings, and writers too, should feel released to switch off their phones or Social Media accounts sometimes. Maybe for a few hours, maybe for a day, otherwise we really are going to get Repetitive Stress Syndrome from constantly picking up a phone to check a screen. More than that, we’ll end up with Repetitive Stress Syndrome of the mind, where it can’t process and function well.
Remember – if you’re not on Social Media for an hour, or a day, the world is not going to stop. There will be the same stream of good, bad, and ugly posts clogging up your feeds, there’ll be the same great friends to chat to, there’ll be the same buzz of activity, but you’ll feel recharged and capable of enjoying it, not like you’re drowning under the constant beat of the connected waves.