Social Not-Working

When I found my ever-determined lover under Greek skies in the summer of 2012, the last thing I expected was to be enlightened on technophobic practices. He doesn't have facebook. Or twitter. Or instagram. Or snapchat. Or any other social-photo-editing-community platforms for that matter. In fact, the only foreign application his phone has, after eighteen months of use, is Sky Sports. 

I used to laugh at his old-fashioned ways, teaching him about amaro filters and telling him about what's trending at any given hour of the day. But really, over the last few months, I've come to realise with transparent reality that the person living the wrong way was me. Thanks to him, I am sumptuously reminded that there is more to life than facebook updates and twitter feeds.

From my waking moment, while Daybreak plays out the daily headlines, I reach across the bedside table foggy-eyed and brushing off dreams, to grab my phone. What I then did - completely out of habit - was to check The Telegraph and The Guardian's morning headline tweets... Saying this aloud, in the open hollow expanse of the internet makes me realise how idiotic the whole thing is. When I'm caught in the adrenaline of adventure - arriving at an airport, singing through a roadtrip on the M40 - my initial reaction was to check-in and make my social presence known. In real terms, these applications were sucking the joy out of living in the moment. 

My real vice, however, came when I was down. When life's monotonous glug was chugging me along slowly, I turned to these so called 'social' mediums. Unbeknownst to me, all this time wasted was rocketing my expectations of life and making my 'normal' day-to-day habits feel inadequate. In fact, inadequate is the perfect word to describe my overall experience: how I felt looking at everyone's fast-paced lives, how I felt once I turned it off and returned to real time, how - over time - I began to feel in general. The sticky fingers of jealousy crawled over me and a tar, thick and foggy, steamed up my thoughts and filled my head with black smog. 

I never felt more alienated than I did whilst scrolling aimlessly through a newsfeed of people who are living their lives without me. People that weren't even my 'Friends' - despite a button that crudely indicated such a relationship. In all irony, "social" networking made me feel more lonely than I ever had in my entire life. 

Thus far, thanks to my ever-wise and wonderful man, I have learnt a lengthy lesson.
That not watching what other people are achieving every hour of the day can make my accomplishes greater. 
That focusing on what I have and not what I lack makes my life feel richer. 
That, of my thousand-or-so ridiculous accumulation of friends, carelessly accepted over the years, the friends I have any inclination of staying in contact with are already in my phonebook.
That, since joining twitter, I spent so many enriched documentaries following the live hash-tag feed that I've missed most of the real-time content concerned.
And, of course, that not comparing myself to others can help me focus on me, solely. 

So here's my ode to cutting down considerably. With all intention of ruling out Facebook by summer (at least by de-activation), keeping twitter mainly company, media and branding based (to cure those long train journey's), and never falling into the heinous trap of faddy-apps. 


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