Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Disconnected {7 for 31}

This month I'm writing a new post each day about my own version of Jen Hatmaker's 7 experiment. For more posts and an introduction, head hereToday's 7 topic is media.

So, a funny thing happened... a few days before September ended and this challenge began, but after I had gotten all of my pictures/graphics for this month chosen and Instagrammed and PicStitched and Overed and uploaded to my laptop, the old iPhone 4(S? I think) that Adam had given me to use as an iPod Touch unexpectedly died. It was happily charging - it lit up to display a Facebook notification - it froze - and when I restarted it, it was trapped in a continuous cycle of rebooting... thinking... rebooting again... thinking some more... A Google search revealed that its memory was probably full, and that restoring it and updating the software would probably resuscitate it. Except that our internet connexion isn't stable enough to download the software update.

The timing was comical - that device accounted for most of my time online, and media use was a topic I planned to spend the entire month exploring. It was so much easier to check my email that way, so much faster to read blog posts and check Facebook and Twitter, so much more convenient to snap a picture, filter it through Instagram and share it than to take a photo with my actual camera, download it to my computer, wait 10 minutes for it to upload to Facebook... I was amazed how dependent I had become when I hadn't really been using it for all that long.

But I've discovered some things, as I've had to sit down at my desk and dedicate time to things that I was doing on a whim/while multi-tasking before. I've discovered that when my only Facebook friends are my actual friends (and a few of those are marked as "acquaintances" --- sorry, I'm not into sappy probably fictional stories about dogs, children, and/or veterans) I really only need to check it once or twice a day - and there's more time to actually interact instead of just skimming. I've discovered that no one complains when my pictures are rectangular and don't have a fancy filter and slightly darkened corners. I've discovered that I am much more likely to actually respond to an email if I have a real keyboard in front of me (I thoroughly despise touchscreen keyboards). I've discovered that I will actually comment on/interact with blog posts more frequently, too, since the app I used didn't allow me to comment.

It made my internet use/social media consumption a lot more intentional - without me having the option or temptation of it being otherwise. And I'm not planning on trying to revive that old iPhone... it's served two different people well, and imparted valuable lessons over the course of its (longer than usual) life.

I spent this month seeking true community, instead of the digital counterfeit - I'll write more about the outcome of that journey tomorrow.

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