Thursday, August 14, 2014

Life. Unplugged or Plugged in?

Dear Readers,

I've been on this terribly long hiatus, and I'm beginning to think that the magic is fading for me. I think like many people of my generation, more and more I'm feeling the urge to disconnect from social media, and just enjoy the experience of living. Don't get me wrong, I definitely still enjoy the benefits of social media, but every so often it gets overwhelming. I recently finished "The Circle" by Dave Egger, that explores what might happen next, and how social media could morph into something else that takes over life. It was an interesting exploration, and since I was reading it on the plane to Chicago, I decided to really experience being back in Chicago. It also helps that the people that I was hanging out with often disconnect from social media. I did post a few pics on Instagram, but mostly I stayed off-line.

I did have a few conversations about social media and celebrities, mostly how many celebrities approach Instagram like they do a photo shoot with deliberate outfits, perfect makeup or "faux natural face", backgrounds, lighting and of course the assistant is holding the phone/tablet in order to get the best angles. And it seems that many people don't seem to realize that images are manufactured and manipulated in order to protect the brand or the image, and while I understand that notion, it scares me that not everyone understands, and believes that what they see is reality.

The other day, a young woman, who really wasn't interested in getting to know me, asked me for my Instagram info, and when I told her I didn't have one, she made a face like I was a leper of society. Obviously if you're on my blog, you can see that I do have an account, however it seemed so invasive. She barely knew my name, and wanted access to my photos that document my life and while I do not a private account, it just felt like I was just a number to her, another potential follower, someone to increase her likes and comments. Sometimes I do use social media as a networking tool for people I meet in real life, but only after I have a conversation, and we have shared interest in the other's work and passions, so the connections seem a bit more genuine.

I guess I just said all that to say, what is this world coming to? I'm beginning to think that I'm not the only one wondering this, Chinet recently came out with a new commercial that really resonated with me.

What do you think? How do you balance real life with your on-line life?