Life Without Social Media?

Mama Kat had an interesting prompt for today:

If social media died tomorrow, describe a hobby you might get into.

Social media is a relatively new phenomenon. I think at best it’s only been around since the mid-Nineties, because that’s as long as the Internet has been available to normal people like you and me. That’s what, about twenty years? Put another way, I was in my late thirties when I got my first AOL account, which is the way most of us got started on the Internet, so to speak, and I’m sixty now, So, a little over twenty years.

What did I do with my time when I didn’t spend hours glued to my computer, fighting with talking to people on newsgroups (remember them?), arguing with following people on Facebook and Twitter, etc.?

  • I read.
  • I played guitar.
  • I kept a journal, and discovered I liked to write.
  • I drank, maybe a little too much.
  • I watched baseball.
  • I had a job where I traveled, so I spent a certain amount of time hanging out in shopping malls, because it was something to do. I rarely bought anything.
  • I listened to music.
  • I listened to shortwave radio.

Could I go back to doing those things? Well, I never stopped doing some of them. I still write, obviously, and would continue to do so, although if the definition of “social media” includes blogging, I’d have to find another outlet for my scribblings. I no longer journal, and maybe I should. I still read and follow baseball (although I rarely watch it since nearly all the games are on cable channels and we got rid of cable over a year ago), but I no longer drink. I keep saying I’d like to try playing guitar again; maybe it’s time I tried. Maybe if social media went away, I would be forced to spend time doing that.

In a way, many of my physical woes have been caused by my fascination with being online in one form or another. If social media hadn’t come into my life, would the same things happen? I’m not sure. I do think I could have found a more productive use for the time I’ve wasted on it, but I can’t go back and change history, much as I’d like to.

There are a lot of good things that have resulted from my involvement with social media, though. I’ve drawn closer to my family, most of whom still live in the Chicago area. I now know what my cousins are up to, where the most interaction I’ve had with them before now was seeing them occasionally at family gatherings. I’ve met a lot of people through blogging and through Facebook and Twitter, people who like the things I like and know more about them, people with whom I can share my interests with. If social media were to go away, I’d have to find ways to maintain contact with them and to meet other people with the same interests. In my current situation, that would be a challenge. I’m not the most sociable person to start with, and my mobility is limited to where Mary is willing to drive.

Social media is a great big pain in the backside, but considering the alternative, I’m glad it’s around.

 

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Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

10 thoughts on “Life Without Social Media?”

  1. I’d definitely miss it but it would probably be good to focus more on other things. Maybe we could have shift patterns where the internet was only available for certain hours of the day? Or maybe I should just have more self control lol

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  2. I love social media. I love reading and writing for so much of my free time, and I’ve met wonderful people, although seldom in person. I still write in my ‘angry journal’ and I sometimes dash a poem on paper. Imagine the angry entry about the end of the internet! Haha! I’d write a lot more letters, as I used to.
    I have learned a great deal about photography here on WordPress, so I would perhaps do more of that. More gardening, I suppose, I’d have more time to dedicate to it.

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  3. If social media wasn’t around I would probably read more, even though I do a lot of that now and I probably would have kept journalling or writing a diary, but I kind of do that on my blog now. Overall social media has been a good thing for me. I have several chronic illnesses and have found much support from people who understand. Stopping by from Mama Kat’s.

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    1. That’s been a distinct benefit of social media: bringing people with certain conditions, interests, or circumstances together to trade information. Without social media, it would be much harder to find those people and interact with them.

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  4. Social media does have its perks, but on a day like today when I sit in my jammies, unshowered, in the late afternoon, I realize the internet sucked me in again. I can’t blame only social media since a huge chunk was spent in sifting through an overload of information as I researched something. Distractions, distractions!

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    1. Pinterest is that kind of site where you can find yourself sitting there clicking on things all day and into the night. You click a pin, and it gives you other pins that you can click on, then those pins bring you to other ones and so on. Great stuff out there, but it’s kind of like drinking from a fire hose.

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  5. Yes lots of times I m amazed I can keep up somewhat with family social media wise . living now without instant all day access I am reading a lot of books… No TV it is good to hear others views.

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  6. There is definitely some give and take with social media. So much information and easy connections, but it is definitely easy to get lost in the rabbit hole of the Internet as well. I try to be careful about not wasting my time online, but I certainly have my moments.

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