According to a new survey, more than 50 percent of those responding are considering or have taken a social media vacation. Now the irony of talking about this issue on a blog and then sharing the discussion on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus is not lost on this writer. However, one quote from this article rather ticked me off. “It’s universally accepted that people are living much of their lives online,” said Jeff Tinsley, CEO of MyLife. “Their Internet identities are their true identities, and they are spending an increasing amount of time managing all their connections and communications across multiple services, leading consumers to feel overwhelmed.”
Their true identities are their Internet identities? Seriously? I would very much like to know what Mr. Tinsley has been smoking so I can avoid it. The idea that what you put online is now your true identity is so obnoxious as to almost leave me speechless. Are the “friends” you have on Facebook really your friends? When you get a flat tire at 2 am will they jump out of bed to help you? Does the cute kitty picture you just shared really represent your artistic vision? Is the overused quote you just retweeted really the essence of your life philosophy? Do you really not know grammar, punctuation or spelling? Most posts would indicate that.
Let’s face it, if an alien landed on earth tomorrow and judged your worth and whether or not to eat your brain based on what he/she/it read about you online, how many of you would end up as dinner? Lots. A ton in fact. A great deal of what passes for wisdom on social media is repeated idiocy or overused truisms or just plain crap. Yes, many people should take a vacation from social media and if they’re smart, they’ll make it a permanent one. Read a book (you know, something made from paper?). Talk to another human who is actually present in your physical space. Go outside and breathe real air. Play with your kids. Talk to your spouse. Take a nap.
The world got on very well for the last few million years without Facebook and it will likely spin on quite nicely for a few million more long after Twitter is gone from memory. So yes, take that social media vacation and use the time to get re-acquainted with something we refer to as the real world. And here’s a hint: You don’t need a screen to view it.
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Image courtesy of 8gramgorilla.com.