I think I've been spending too much time online. I know I'm on my phone way too much. It's not like I'm making calls or texting a dozen people. In fact, I only text my girls, Rick, and one other good friend. Even then, it's not often. I think I'd go nuts if I had a bunch of people to text. I can see how that would be distracting. My phone rarely rings. When it does, it scares the daylights out of me. It's usually my doctor, dentist, or vet. I don't get many calls, but I do use it a lot. I'm really hooked on Instagram, and I especially like participating in the photo challenges people put up there. I love taking pictures, which is what I use my iPhone for mostly, and the challenges often make me think. Today my challenges were "3 Things", "Beyond Reach", and "Calories". So, of course, through the day I'm wandering around thinking of what I can take pictures of. That's fun, even though it does use up quite a bit of time.
I've been spending too much time on Facebook also. I was a latecomer to Facebook, and joined way after most of my friends had signed up. Before I kept up with many of them through a message board on The Wiggles website. I met some great people there, many of which I've been friends with for 10+ years. Once the old board closed down, most everyone went to Facebook. I joined quite a bit later, just as I did Twitter, Instagram, and the others. Even so, I've made some great friends through these sites. I've even made a bunch of new ones from others doing the photo challenges on Instagram. It's amazing how you can suddenly click with someone and feel like you've known them for years. I'm kind of of a homebody though, and I don't really get out a lot. I could if I wanted to, but I choose to be home a lot, especially with the boys doing school. I guess maybe that's why social media is important to me. It's my link to the outside world.
Every now and then all this social media gets to me. Someone says something snarky, and it just rubs me the wrong way, regardless of whether it was intentional or not. Or people start posting news stories that aren't true. I really need to stop using Facebook as a news source. One thing I really despise is satire news. I think those sites are stupid, and it's insane how quickly a story can spread. Because of that, it makes not knowing what's true almost impossible. Photographs are altered, stories are satire, and it's just too hard to tell anymore. Then there are the articles telling us not to eat this. Don't drink that. Don't support this company. Don't do this. Don't do that. I think most people, myself included, post things because we think they're interesting or that others might want to learn from them. It does get overwhelming though.
Like I said, the Internet is my link to the outside world. I think that's a good thing ... most days. Just lately things have been rubbing me the wrong way. Maybe that's a sign to take a break. Maybe I should spend more time visiting my friends blogs. I miss that and I've gotten terrible about it. Maybe I should attempt to finish those old school yearbooks that are waiting to be completed. Maybe I should write a story. I did, however, open up my very first picture book today and revise it a bit. That felt good. It's called Manny the Mountain Goat, and it was my first story I wrote that got me interested in writing for children. I've asked Nathan to draw me an example of what he thinks Manny might look like as a book character. Manny has his own IG account, by the way. Yeah, I know, but I told you I was addicted to the site. You can check out Manny's pictures @mannythemountaingoat. Whether I will take a break or not, I don't know. It's always easy to say I will, and yet, ten minutes later I find myself back on Facebook.
What about you — do you ever take a break from social media?