new short story collection. Out now!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Fast Track to Clarity

It's easy to get lost, to lose perspective, to live an unbalanced life. There are times when I not only forget to stop and smell the roses, but I can't smell the coffee, and the stench of some dead creature in the corner of my office cupboard fades from my olfactory register. Sometimes I run but I forget where I am going.

For five days this week, I banned myself from social media. I fasted from something which in itself is neither good not bad. For me, however Facebook and Twitter, had begun to distort my view of myself and of reality. One of my best lines, when my children show me something on Facebook, is that Facebook makes me despair for humanity. Lately, it had been making me despair for myself.

The problem is I don't like to communicate in a vacuum, and who does? If I say something, I would like a response. If I ask a question, I would like an answer. My experience of social media is that it is mostly one sided. Roughly half a dozen of my Facebook friends interact with me, and the figure for Twitter is even lower. This dearth of interaction annoys me, and the reason I get irritated is because I am self centred.

I am looking for love in the wrong places. Social media is a tool not a barometer. The popularity game promises great rewards but delivers superficiality. I chose not to play this week, and as a result I wrote four chapters of my next novel. Fasting something which I enjoy (usually) but do not need, helped me to see clearly that I am an author, and I am important regardless of how many hits, friends or tweeps I have. This clarity led to productivity.

I also fasted from Coke for three days, but that is another story.

Photograph sources:
http://www.totalwallpapers.com/wallpapers.asp?number_id=574
http://hicks-tuj.blogspot.com.au/2011/10/social-media-and-its-contributions-to.html

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