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Aug 27, 2013

Defeating Death By Social Networking: Part One

Posted by Wendy Ewurum  |  at  1:30 AM

I live for cyber space. I’m not totally proud to say it but it’s the truth. I love my life online. It’s opened up so many possibilities for me off line. For example my blogging has led to my tech savvy. I can now put together websites and blogs at a moment’s notice. I can’t write code yet but do a decent job reading it and I can certainly use it and everything else to my benefit. In fact I am busy with my first website design for a client and they’ve already fallen in love with the initial work. I went on to learn to use Corel Draw so that I don’t have to spend precious money on graphic and web designers for my personal and business needs. So being online has really reaped dividends for me. 

On that same note, I am not blind to the pitfalls that can come with being a “Cyber Hottie".

No I’m not talking about the American psychos and West African gigilos whose path you are likely to cross. I’m referring to a more subtle intruder. The one that slowly and stealthily takes over your life to the extent that you cannot even hold a decent conversation, or having a meal with family or coffee with a friend without scrabbling for your mobile when the beep sounds. 
The one that will steal the intimacy in your relationships right out from under you, when you least expect it.

I’m a people watcher so I love going and just sitting somewhere like a coffee shop and watch people around me (I hope that doesn’t sound perverse). So imagine the scene. A couple sits at a restaurant for lunch and as you observe them you see them having a little conversation but are mostly silent as they eat but it’s obvious they are extremely distracted. While half heartedly attempting to hold a conversation they don’t even bother making eye contact because those are switching between their food and their smart phones. You can see that they are both waiting with great anticipation for some phone activity. As it arrives on one phone, you can almost visibly see the shivers of excitement causing through the receiver’s body as their face lights up and eyes enlarge and hands scrabble for the source and thumbs start speeding over the little keyboard at superhuman speed as if they’ve been hanging on for dear life waiting for this fix. 

And the expressions on the face of the reciever are something to behold. The animation brought on by whoever they are chatting to online is wondrous. Something akin to one a shoe lover gets when they walk out of a store with a bag containing several boxes of killer heels. Or the one I’d get if I walked out of book store or a antique shop with a treasure I bought for next to nothing. 
This is something you will not have seen from all the time they have been conversing with the person sitting at the table with them.

I watched this unfold before my eye and thought to myself, this is quite possibly how other people see me too. And worse I kept thinking: “This is so rude”  when a message came through and the other person had to wait on the receiver or think of something to do.

Although when I’m in a meeting or in someone’s company I put my phone on “DO NOT DISTURB” there are times when I cannot help but have to keep my mobile on. And I do tell my company that expecting something and when it does come I feel bad. I suppose because I can see them in front of me twiddling with their utensils, sometimes not so patiently waiting for my attention.

But I cannot say I show the same consideration and etiquette to my family and friends. I suppose because the setting is a lot less formal we tend to take certain liberties which are detrimental to our relationships with the kids and spouses. I am the first to admit that I am the biggest culprit and I dread having to take responsibility to change my behavior but this needs to be done. 
I have come to the uncomfortable realization that I am not setting a good example for my real life relationships (my children to be specific), nor am I connecting with people I care about at a deeper level.
We say we have hold our loved ones in high regard and yet we are so quick to disregard spending time with them in favor on anti-social options like chatting on whatsapp or such apps. I have to start setting parameters. There needs to be balance.

And first things first. I am going to schedule my time on whatsapp and facebook. Surely I don't need to know whats going on with everybody all the time. I'll let you know how this has worked out in a month or so. Hold thumbs.

But please, help here guys, how do you get it right?





About the Author

Most know me as the author to Fabulosity Reads and in actual fact, that is the previous name of this blog. I have since then moved my books to a Wordpress self-hosted blog so that I can have a place to show a different side of me which I am equally passionate about and that is marketing and personal development. I hope you will love being here, watching me grow as I share and learn. My highest hope is that we will grown and learn together in all disciplines affecting our lives. I'd LUUURRRVE to hear from you, so don't be shy...

4 comments:

  1. Hey Wendy, there are certainly upsides and downsides to being online. It's a real upside that you can now build websites and continually learn new programs. My knowledge of HTML is skimpy, but the husby is good at it. I blogged about the social networking thing recently, about the same as you -- out at restaurants and we're all doing anything except interacting with each other -- too busy in the virtual world. It happens. It means we all have to become so much more interesting so people will prefer to talk to us face to face rather than online. Don't worry the pendulum will swing back. I even hear rumblings from my children that they are getting 'over' facebook. Yay!

    Denise

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  2. I'm lucky I never got attached to my phone like that. When I'm on my laptop I'm terrible but once I close it, I know I'm done. Apart from my blog too, I try not to make close friends online, I'd rather have more time to cherish the real life ones.

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  3. Hey ladies I'm sorry for only getting here now. My 3G just refused to behave. Using phone now. There is hope yet Denis from what you saying. Myne that's where I most probably went wrong. I don't have much in the way of offline friends, never been good at maintaining them.

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