Ana Veciana-Suarez: Social media: too much of a good thing?

All of my life I have worked hard to have MY TIME – Time away from others. I remember as a child grabbing a book or maybe just finding some quiet place where I could be ALONE – without the company of any others – other than God. It has been a *thing* with me all of my life and the older I get the more I try for that. People ask me if I don’t get lonely living alone and not going out and doing things with others. No, I don’t get lonely because I have never felt *lonely* or bored in my life. I guess that comes from always knowing the God in the Holy Spirit was always with me. I could never understand that *need* so many seem to have to always have others around them. All that chatter, noise, activity. There were times in my life when I had to participate in all that – when I was married, when my children were still at home and then when the grandchildren came around. But I have and still cherish the QUIET times – the ALONE time when I can sit in silence, listening to God. I would rather spend QUALITY TIME with another person than what substitutes for visiting today.

Folks don’t understand why I refuse to have a cell phone or get involved with Face Book and such. Those things interrupt my life so I don’t have them. I lived all my life without instant communication and I like it that way. I have the only *instant communication* I need and that is in prayer with My Lord & Saviour, Jesus Christ. That is my *wireless communication* – no need to be concerned about how many minutes I use or leaving a voice mail.

I have most always been content to be who I am and to enjoy the thoughts that God brings forth to me. I just don’t understand why others need all that other stuff to entertain them all the time. In my solitude I can watch and enjoy the many things that God created for me to see and enjoy. The feathers on a bird, how they arranged and colored, how the clouds form in the sky, how plants are created to bring forth different flowers, food, greenery.

So, when I read this in the Ft. Worth Star Telegram this morning I thought it was a good thing to share with WGEN readers – take time for YOURSELF – be *out of touch* with others and get in touch with yourself and with God. Turn off all those electronics and commune with your inner self – get to know YOU. Learn to enjoy the Fruit of the Spirit. Learn to enjoy your own company – you will become a better person for that.

Phil 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, to be content.

Galatians 5: 19-24  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, strife, jealousy, wrath, selfishness, divisions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of which I tell you beforehand, as I have also told you in time past, that they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, self-control: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

By Ana Veciana-Suarez

Original Post

Pin this, post that. Click here, like there. Tweet, tumble, text. Facebook, Foursquare, Skype, Facetime and iChat. My social life is being managed by something I can’t hug. Wow.

The evolution of human interaction has made communication a full-time job. And while it’s now easier for me to keep up with far-flung friends, I’m also saddled with the unreasonable expectation of
being accessible 24/7.

Really, do I need to be reminded that I haven’t checked in with Facebook for the past four days? Must I acknowledge the pesky email that lists the updates from my contacts on LinkedIn?

Oh, I know, I know. I’m sounding petulantly anti-social, like an ingrate who refuses to appreciate this wide, wonderful world of modern communication. I don’t mean to be. I distinctly remember when a long-distance call was a rare and expensive treat, when photographs took days to arrive in the mail and if you wanted to find a friend in the mall parking lot after a day of Christmas shopping, you had to have agreed on a predetermined time and place to meet. After all, cellphones didn’t always exist ­ a concept that befuddles my youngest sons, who don’t know and can’t conceive of a world without them.

Yes, technology has made socializing much easier, but it also has introduced us to a new form of guilt, a perverted sense of responsibility. Though we have the ability to control how much and when we share, we don’t exercise that prerogative near enough. We feel adrift and out of control without our beeping, blinking electronic blankies.

When I go off the grid for a day or two, when I resist the siren call of my smart phone or my office PC, I feel unsettled, out of place. What am I missing? Have I been left behind? Who knows something I don’t?

This is especially true for those of us who trade in information, whether we’re writers, stockbrokers or professors. The miracle that transformed our jobs with its ease and lightning speed has also made our work day interminable. Because the world that exists among circuits and chips never sleeps, we’re reluctant to use the off button to separate us from it.

Connectedness, too much too often, has become the new addiction, and experts now have a name for it: nomophobia, the fear of being without mobile technology. Google the term and you’ll learn that, according to some studies, up to two-thirds of us suffer from it.

It wasn’t always so, and it doesn’t afflict everybody. A friend considers the cellphone a necessary evil, so he turns it off as soon as he walks in through his front door. A relative refuses to turn on his mailbox option. And The Hubby refuses to entertain Facebook or LinkedIn accounts. He doesn’t follow anyone on Twitter nor post anything on Tumblr. Only recently, after some prodding, has he started to text, and he does this sparingly.

He may not be as well informed on the minutiae of the family, but he does seem far more relaxed than I ever am. Maybe he knows something that I, with all my high-falutin’ tech, haven’t recognized. By always keeping in touch, keeping informed and keeping ourselves available, we’ve lost the appreciation of what it means to be alone, truly alone, with only our thoughts for company.

Follow Ana on Twitter @AnaVeciana.

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