Over the past few days, amid the furor of a Facebook gone wrong, I’ve been shutting down social media accounts. First Facebook, then Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr. When I started on this path, I was concerned about privacy and the possibility of my own data being used against me–to influence my preferences in my purchases, my politics and my own belief systems.
Now I’m thinking less of the nefarious forces at work to steer my life, without my even having an inkling that it’s happening, to my being able to make better choices. Choices in how I use my time, communicate with others and make and maintain relationships.
I was talking with my sister earlier today (also in her early sixties). She said something to me that made me think.
“You know,” she said, “we are the last generation to have been born and raised in a world with no ‘high tech’. We didn’t even have the internet or email while we were in school and through our young adulthood. How has that made us different–unique?”
“Well,” I replied, “we did have television. That was “technology”. That should account for something.”
“And remember how much Mom and Dad tried to regulate our TV habit? How much and what we watched?” my sister answered.
TV, when we were growing up, was “the technology”. Good or bad, it was part of our growing up, and we survived. Television shaped our lives, for good or bad. It helped shape us.
Will Millennials look back at this time, more or less dispassionately, as a time that shaped their lives? And will this be a “good thing”? Time will tell.
In the meantime, I’m looking forward to a simpler lifestyle. Less tech, more touch.
Awhile ago, I read Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. What I’m doing, in a sense, is “tidying up” my social media life. Ms. Kondo says, “The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.”
What do I want to keep?