I was born in 1983. I’m not as tech-savvy as someone born in 2000. I’m also not as tech-savvy as my mother, but I also don’t have to be in order to perform my job. I only need to know how to use the computer programs loaded on my device at work to clock in/out, check email and document and charge for time treating patients. WordPress makes blogging easy without knowing how to write html code otherwise I wouldn’t have a blog.
A couple of years ago I canceled my Facebook account and started a Twitter account. I felt like I was doing more scrolling than reading every evening on Facebook as people were writing paragraphs and stories while I was at work. Too much information, people. And too much complaining. I like the fact that people are limited to 140 characters on Twitter. I know there is speculation that Twitter might get rid of the 140 character limit. I hope they don’t.
James sent me this to read recently about how Twitter might be dying because there are people attacking others and being abusive, even threatening. Luckily, I don’t follow anyone that does this and rarely read conversations between people. But I think that’s part of the point of the article too. Your Twitter community usually shares the same values as you do.
I think it’s great that someone can invent a popular social media site, but I just don’t need to use all of them. I’ve read about people who take vacations from social media or even all internet activities including email. Most stories end up with the conclusion that they didn’t miss out on anything important and derived more happiness by experiencing the world around them.
For now, I still find value in using my Twitter account and reading local newsletters that arrive conveniently in my email inbox daily.
My husband says I hang out around too many old people, but that’s a substantial part of my job. I recently used the term “young folks” to refer to teenagers. It’s not like my older patients have had less life experiences because they didn’t grow up staring at smart phones and computers all day long. In fact, their life experiences (war, starting and growing family businesses, living in different countries, lost and found loves) are way more interesting than all of the Instagram pictures I’ve seen.
Sometimes I’m so far behind in how to use the internet that it’s like I’m Beatrice and James is the one who tells me, “That’s not how any of this works.”
Luckily, there seems to be a growing community of people in Charlotte who like to get together and share ideas. In person! Here are a few that I know of in Charlotte:
Unless you know someone who knows about these communities, you’ll need to follow them on social media accounts or sign up for email newsletters to find out about upcoming events. That’s just how things work nowadays.
Here’s an exception. Recently I met someone that holds a TED talk social in the basement of a wine shop. They watch a TED talk and then have a conversation about it. There is no website for this, I just happened to meet the guy who started it.
I spend a bunch of my time at home on my Chromebook trying to catch up on social media, keeping up with the newest research for my job and reading articles about one of my passions, sustainability. But if I’m hanging out with you, I won’t be checking my phone every 30 seconds. I won’t be taking pictures of my food. Most of you know what a cup of coffee and a glass of beer looks like. I won’t ask you to take a selfie with me. You won’t learn anything about me by watching a 6 second video. You won’t even really learn about me from reading this blog.
I don’t have what Millennials call FOMO (fear of missing out). I experience disappointment at times when I find out something cool happened while I was at work, like when they blew up the Charlotte Panthers’ tunnel one afternoon uptown and people ran through it. I totally would have done that! But I hold onto awesome memories like when I tried out to be the UConn Huskies mascot during my graduate year and riding in a biplane on our honeymoon. And I think that if you have time to think about your FOMO, then what you are experiencing isn’t fulfilling you and you need to find out what feeds your soul.
Let’s start doing less of this and have real experiences.