Sunday, September 23, 2018

Social Media has broken me

I sat down to read a book. An hour later, I had read three pages. That's because there was a reference to London and it made me think about an article I had read a few years ago (that I've read more than five times since) about the test taxi drivers in London have to take to become a licensed cabbie. I read half of the article, got on YouTube and watched two or three videos about it, then got on Twitter and tweeted about it.

My wife and I recently started a side-business (trying to ramp up the Business side of it now). After I tweeted about The Knowledge, I checked the Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter pages for said business. Then I checked the analytics of the website to check page views. I now have no attention span. My attention span is 280 characters. If I say something remotely humorous to my wife I immediately think, "Would that be funny on Twitter?" My brain is broken.

Today I started a training plan for a half-marathon (I'm saying it out loud for a form of accountability). I took a selfie - I hate selfies - after my first "training session" and put it on Instagram, which linked to Facebook. What the hell is wrong with me.

That said, I'll be taking a step back. I've been better at staying off Twitter (sort of) during Astros games, and thank God that Flick is here to take Hot Links three days a week. I'll probably wait until the playoffs are over, because we all need each other then, but there's a day coming soon where I need to figure out what has happened to my brain, and why I can't focus on a book for more than five minutes at a time. While our daughter sprinted around the couch, and two dogs played, and I listened to three songs from Hamilton, my wife sat there reading a book for two straight hours. I used to do that.

I firmly believe that many problems in our society come from not being able to focus on one thing for more than 30-45 seconds. And narcissism - that's a problem, too. Because there's a certain number of people that follow Astros County and I place too much emphasis on it. I've contributed to that, and also fallen into that trap. I'm doing too many things: being a dad, a husband, a teacher, a coach, a writer, a small business owner (apparently), a friend - and I'm not doing any of them well.

My personality can generally be described as "addictive." Over the years I've learned that I can't have any bourbon in the house, or any kind of video game system, though - insert Borat voice - My Wife told me almost ten years ago to choose between video games and Astros County. It's been awesome, and I'm not saying it's about to end, but somehow Likes and Retweets replaced actual feelings and experiences. It's not about to end, but it's time to re-prioritize.

I don't like where my brain is, and I will be taking steps to remedy it...

...After the playoffs.

And I'm fully aware that even this post is self-indulgent, and I don't like that, either. Now, back to this book...

3 comments:

Sherri said...

Yes. To all.
But if hits and likes and follows, etc are the metrics for success then tending to them is not wholly narcissism. Perhaps?
Thank you for doing this instead of video games.
Good luck with your training.

Bonnie Prince Charlie said...

Hey, a friend changed my Twitter password several months ago because I was on it too much, so I sympathize. I was thinking about you the other day — the damned United in first by a TON! — and just remembered that you have a Web site too. So hey hey.

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