Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Is it possible to OD on FB?

Dear Ann,
Is it just me, or are there one too many obligatory social networks? I feel aimless in my frenzied clicking, unfulfilled by online “friend”-ships, and spread so thin I might be wasting away. Is it possible to OD on social media? 

~ Tweeter McPinstagram

Dear Tweeter,

I think you have hit upon something that many of us feel, but don’t always express; except by pinning or retweeting a meme about it. 

We yearn to belong and be loved, to share and to connect. However, spending time on social media can sometimes make you feel like a lab rat insanely smacking at a lever for one more food pellet. Must. Keep. Clicking.

This tweet from @SkinnieTalls explains how social media can be a bit of a mixed bag:

But while it’s not super probable that you’ll OD on SM, it is possible to become this:

And – given that we have islands of trash piling up in our oceans and can’t say no to McAnything – we are probably just a few tiny baby steps from this:

It is important to ask ourselves questions like yours, and also questions like: 
  • Is there such a thing as too much technology? 
  • Are we on a downward spiral as a species? 
  • Will a modern-day scurvy wipe out our Google Glass Explorers? 
  • When we look at our children’s faces, are we looking for the “pin it” button? 
    Do I have something on my forehead?
  • If we’re plugged in all the time, when do we stop being people and start being robots? 
  • Why can’t we focus all our technological efforts on time travel so we can impress kids with our skateboarding skills and go to our parents' Enchantment Under the Sea dance? 
  • Or (a question that alternately causes me relief or terror – depending on my mood) are we already robots…just a series of electrical impulses…a combination of 0s and 1s? 
I don’t have the answers to these questions, so let's just hope that people share their thoughts in the comments section. 

What I can say is that unless you’re prepared to go Full Amish, you’ll need to maintain some level of engagement with technology and social media. So why not enjoy the process, and see how it all goes down? 

Maybe we'll go the way of the boneless baby-bodied humans in Wall-E. Perhaps our consciousness will be transferred to The Cloud like in that movie no one saw. Or maybe we'll get sucked into the screen by a Pinterest poltergeist as we attempt to pin a color palette. Let's just lean in. Instead of turn on, tune in, drop out, how about a more appropriate motto for this millennium like spread out and veg out? Let’s go full circle and see if we can bring on the devolution of the species. Maybe then we can start from scratch. Have a re-do. A do over. Cue Circle of Life.

This would be a great time to...
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Your Ann Abler



  1. And along with it are tech friendships, I have caught myself saying "oh, we are Facebook friends", like that means we are more than "acquaintances" but not quite "going out with..." friends, and that's ok, right!?!

    1. Of course, or should I say, "not that there's anything wrong with that" :)

  2. Haha! My kids call my online friends "Mommy's imaginary friends". Yup, that about sums it up!

    1. Well the good thing is imaginary friends are usually pretty cool. I feel like I should go re-watch "The Net" with Sandra Bullock and see if it's still relevant.
      Thanks for reading...and feel free to send in a question...real or imagined! :)