Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Just Breathe

A lot of people consider Facebook a time-waster, and they are absolutely correct. It is, just like television. So are a lot of movies, and so is most commercial radio with all its repetition and advertising, and so is Twitter.

That is, if you let them waste your time. You don't have to, you know. You are in control. You can limit the amount of time you spend on these social media sites, and I'd advise it: setting a timer and changing your focus when the buzzer goes. It's all too easy to think you've spent 15 minutes there and discover you've just lost an entire hour. That's the way it is with any kind of reading, don't you find?

You can also switch off your television, find a channel without advertising cutting in every five minutes, or read during the commercials. You don't have to watch a movie till the end, just because you gave it 15 minutes of your attention to start with. Turn it off and move on.

You can listen to podcasts and recorded music; you can turn to a public radio station that doesn't advertise but offers fascinating, informative programming. There are a million ways around the time-wasting aspects of these things we do to find out what's going on with our friends and in the world.

On Facebook, I've very little interest in people's political statements, or in puppies, kittens and cute children, or in the inspirational quotes, the recipes, and so on. Most of it has already been seen 15 times, or if I am interested in a subject I can easily search it out myself online; I don't need Facebook to bring it to my attention. And that's the main reason I scroll on by a lot of what is posted in people's FB feeds. For me, a lot of that stuff is a time-waster. What interests me is what my friends and acquaintances are up to, and photos of them and their families.

Very rarely — but it does happen — there is a message that is a perfect reminder of something important to me.