Recently I had issues with my data. For a couple of days I had no access to the internet. Around the same time, someone commented to me that they had read my blog and couldn’t live the life we live. This small comment affected me profoundly. Both of these events have had me thinking deeply about modern communication methods and also the purpose of my blog.
I am a Facebook user and a blogger. I use Facebook a lot. I use it for my blog and I’m an administrator on a page for our environment group as well as having a personal account. It’s a great tool for getting information out to the public, sharing facts of interest and for connecting with other locals with similar interests and lifestyles.
The trouble is, once I get on there, I start looking at my home page and can spend ages reading through peoples posts, memes and links. I’m not comfortable with the amount of time I spend staring at screens. We stopped watching telly ages ago but I’ve replaced evenings with Facebook instead over the last couple of years.
I grew up in the days of telephones that you actually had to dial….. ones with round holes to put your finger in and pull around the dial….. ones with cords attaching them to the wall. There was no option back then of a cordless phone. I had to have teenage conversations sitting in the entrance hall. I used to close the lounge room door in an attempt at privacy but people were always wandering past. When I reached an age where boys began to call, through sheer desperation I discovered that if I stretched the phone to the extent of its cord and opened the front door widely, I could slide the cord under it and feed the cord to the outside. Many a lovesick conversation was had sitting on the front doorstep in the freezing cold but I had an element of privacy!
I’ve noticed, over the last ten years or so, that many people prefer you to text if they need a response to something. Facebook is another quick method of communication that is often used. It can be used to relay the same information to several people simultaneously, saving a need to call people. Otherwise emails are the method of choice.
I’m assuming the reason this type of communication has become so popular is to avoid lengthy chats and the obligatory polite small talk while organising our daily lives. But what are we doing with all this extra time? I feel busier than I ever have! Are we saving time with modern communication only so we can squash more activities and projects into our lives? Maybe we're busier because our social circles are much larger due to our tech savvy communication methods? I don’t know but I do know I prefer to speak to someone in person. My mobile phone is antiquated so it takes me ages to write a text. It’s much easier to just speak my message and, if I have a little chat along the way, then I see it as a bonus.
I could buy a newfangled phone so that I could easily and quickly type texts but then I would just get further drawn into this time-sucking method of chat. Then I would have Facebook on hand everywhere I went. I would be tempted to have a peek! It seems I’m not very disciplined because the obvious answer would be to put a time limit on my computer usage. I have tried to do this in the past but can’t resist sneaking ‘just a quick look’ at what is happening online.Throughout these thought processes, I was also wondering if my blog was a waste of time. Id like to picture my blog being somewhere people could look to get ideas to address climate change on a personal level. Nobody wants to deliberately bring the human race to an end yet there are so many people who’s behaviour would lead you to think that's exactly what they're trying to do! My belief is they don’t understand the urgency surrounding climate change or understand how to live with a less damaging environmental impact. That's what I'd like to address with my blog. So when this lovely lady (and she really is lovely) commented that my lifestyle was too hard, I worried that my blog was putting people off. Imagine if I, in trying to reach my objective, was writing in such a way that I actually convinced people not to try! I find the issue of consumerism and the environmental damage it causes, so concerning that I do often get a bit preachy and high-horsish. I find it hard not to sound preachy when it comes to a choice between someone exercising the right to own unnecessary material goods over a future for my children and those who will follow them. To me it's black and white.
So I’ve not blogged much recently. However I’ve ruminated heaps! And I’ve decided the main reason I blog is because I love it! I’ve always liked to write. I’ll never be an amazing writer (though wish I was) and I’m not aspiring to be. I just enjoy writing. I also think it’s a fantastic way to keep a family record. I enjoy the connections I’ve made here and the way bloggers help each other out when we can. I love each and every comment that is left by people who have read my posts. It gives me a real boost when someone takes the time to interact with me. And I finally decided that while most of my followers are already converts, there may be someone, somewhere, someday who finds ideas or information here that inspires them to live more lightly.
I don’t know what the Facebook answer is. I think it’s a necessary evil at this point in my life but I don’t love it in the same way that I do my blog.
Do you struggle with how your internet time should best be spent?