The Social Suck

Its so easy to let time slip away, isn’t it?

An enticing Netflix series will suck away a ton of hours. I recently watched a whole season of The Good Fight in less than a week. Since I had a free week on CBS All Access I devoted my time to completing that task. I know when Game of Thrones Season 8 crosses my path, I will make time for all 6 one-hour shows.

And those are the magic words –Making Time

I have four very close friends in the area who I haven’t seen in a while. Why is that? Too busy to connect, to make a date, to do coffee, to take a walk? And yet, I KNOW that when Game of Thrones Season 8 crosses my path, I will have time – as in 6 hours – that I will conveniently set aside to devour the last and final season.

So, where do I put my time? If my friends are so important, why are they not at the top of my priority list? Prior to social media, I picked up the phone and called. Then, gradually, I picked up my smartphone and texted. It was direct and purposeful. Now, weeks go by with them on my list to call but not actually doing so. Hmm, why is that? If I do indeed value their friendship, why not treat them as a precious commodity and give them something I treasure – time. Time to chat, laugh, connect and reunite.

Choosing where we spend our time

I make time for my grandchildren, little kids, engaging books, local concerts (especially when there is a fiddle included), good movies, early morning walks, informational or inspiring podcasts, mountains trips, scenic rides to see the autumn colors, and good conversations.

Most likely, you have your own priority list whether you are aware of it or not. Those places where you arrive early are probably high on your priority list and when you arrive late – well that says something as well.

The social suck

And then, all too common is the social suck. Facebook, Instagram, texting, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and all those other online platforms that draw me in and hold me hostage.  Yes, I have freewill … however, in those weak moments when I click on a video of twins in a crib, or a toddler singing in the back seat of the car or link to some volunteer activities or visit Ted Talks websites… I am a victim of the social suck.

These videos and sites can be amazing and they can also devour a big chunk of my morning. And what is the gain for me? Ummmm. Not much, really.

I met a woman who told me that she won’t have a cup of morning tea until she writes something, either in her journal, blog or online.  Its her ‘carrot’ that keeps her moving forward. She did mention how much she loves her morning tea.

Another friend will only listen to audio books when she’s walking. It’s especially great when she has a deadline for an upcoming book group. She makes the time to fit in the walk so she can ‘read.’ Bam!

Long shelves of library booksTo be honest, I don’t think there is anything wrong with social media… As long as I know that when I venture into that realm, it will claim my time, usually more than I imagined. I often learn something online but most often, I lose time which I value and treasure. 

Ever go to the store and NOT get the one and most important item you had on your list (usually, in this case it’s a mental list). That’s how I am when I get online. My intention is to get something specific only to be ambushed with other shiny objects.   

I love and adore podcasts and audiobooks in small doses because when I listen to them, I’m not allowing my own ideas and powerful thoughts to come through. I listen and I learn. Yet, there’s no space for my creativity to shine when I am giving my time and attention to others. 

For me, it’s like reading about writing, instead of writing. It’s having a library of books about how to write a query letter or resume or short story – but never taking the time to actually try it.

So, for the lonely and waning month of November, the focus will be on me. More writing, reading and creativity time. Making time for me. Imagine that!

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One thought on “The Social Suck

  1. I’ve learned to be intentional with online shopping i.e. Amazon – how? I keep a list. I get on there, get what I need, and get off. No wormholes 🙂 But my favorite indulgence of late is muting my phone and walking into a bookstore .. ordering a cuppa something … and browsing, carrying books till my arms hurt. …. ahh delightful! ~ MJ

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