The Treadmill That Is Social Media – Can’t Live With It, Can’t Live Without It

I don’t just feel like I’m running on a treadmill that won’t turn off, or trying to juggle too many balls in the air; I feel like I’m trying to do both.

As someone who uses social media to try and get work, and promote myself, I don’t feel like I can try the, ‘My Week Without Social Media’ experiment. Besides, everyone is doing it and it gets boring to read after a while. We all know that hyperventilation kicks in after an hour, and then by day three they discover how rich their lives have become as they reintegrate back into normal life. I reckon it’s like dieting, once they start back into it they spend more hours on the computer than before they deprived themselves. Gain a week, lose a month.

You think you’re getting a handle on managing your excessive number of social media accounts, then they start making extra demands of your time. Come on, do the quiz that your mate only got nine out of ten correct answers, it’s the hardest quiz, like ever. Then you don’t publish your results because you only got three correct, you have a degree and they don’t know the difference between, ‘your’, ‘you’re’, ‘there’ and ‘their’. You do realise you can do it a second time and publish your revised answers don’t you? But just get one wrong to make it look believable.

Of course I’m intrigued to see which famous celebrity I look like, who wouldn’t be? I’ve never published any of those results either. I scrub up well on a Saturday night but I’m not so delusional that I think I look like Mila Kunis, besides I’m blonde and fifty, and haven’t had plastic surgery recently. I do enjoy the ‘who were you in a past life?’ Usually turns out to be someone who was still alive in my lifetime, so not sure how that works. And what about the career I should have had if I hadn’t been a stay at home mum? Yes! That is exactly what I would have been, an astronaut, suits claustrophobics down to the ground, that one.

I care very much about all the hideous diseases and cruelty in the world, I really do, but I’m pretty sure typing ‘Amen’ or sharing posts that give me nightmares for weeks will not make a significant difference, no matter how much you tell me I’m a total, uncaring, unfeeling cow if I don’t. And you’re right, I had no idea who Prince’s dad was. I still don’t. I don’t have time to click through 20 pages that take ninety seconds to load in the dramatic build up to the answer. Google it. That’s what I do now, I just Google it.

My favourite headlines usually include, ‘…and you wouldn’t believe what happened next’. I know what happens next, another site with ninety second loading pages. What about all those photos? We seem to have a new generation of doctors who can diagnose illnesses and save lives, just from a brief look at a photo… ‘you won’t believe what they saw…’ You’re right, I don’t believe it. What disturbs me the most about ‘sharing’, is the number of people that are happy to click share without doing any research. Some poor bloke is sitting at home enjoying his first cup of tea of the day when the police kick his front door in. Why? Because he pissed someone off recently and they posted his pic telling everyone he beat an old lady over the head with a bicycle pump. ‘Plz sher so we can catch this scum!’

Scroll on by you might say…don’t log in you might say…. But if I didn’t how would I ever see those wonderful quick and tasty recipes for midweek meals? I wouldn’t know what is good or bad for me in my daily diet. I certainly would have no idea what Prosecco is, or that everyone would like to have it on tap in a variety of gadgets (we seem to have bred a society of alcoholics). Most importantly, I wouldn’t know how many hours my son has slept by stalking his green light status, or how many of my friends are online and ignoring my messages!

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