GETTING THE DOWNHILL CROWD ON FACEBOOK
When asked what I would want on a desert island besides water, food and shelter I answer “A computer with an eternal battery and working internet connection.” That many of my dear friends don’t use social media, means I am slowly growing closer to many my many social media friends than to those real life friends. I have totally lost touch with the friends who don’t even have an email address. So this article Countering the Excuses for Avoiding Social Media by Alexandra Samuel interested me.
The article notes the main excuses people give for not using Social Media:
I’m too old. No one is too old to learn how to use Social Media. If the will is there and the person can read and write, they can use social media. My now 102 year old mother-in-law learned to use email in her nineties. Using social media strengthens you as you are descending the Downhill Slope.
I‘m not interested or I don’t need more knowledge. The article puts this slightly differently, but this is what I hear from those I wish were using social media. We always can benefit from more knowledge. Twitter keeps me up to date on what’s happening and by refining who I follow, I follow only what interests me. Same on Facebook. I love interacting with young people, particularly young adolescents and young adults. Ccntact in real life with the young is limited, not on Facebook. And yes, I sometimes get impatient with some post, but rarely. What I am not interested in is easily ignored. At the same time, when David was ill, social media offered me more than support, I learned what I needed to know about his illness and how to help him recover.
I am grateful I have what the Buddhists call a Beginner’s Mind–I am eternally curious. The Expert’ Mind thinks they know all they need to know. Sadly that stance applies most strongly to new experiences. Many of the friends who don’t use social media fall into that category. Part of staying strong is staying open to the new. The social media has helped me do that.
I’ve got better things to do. The article is written by a gamer and that might turn some off. But gaming is useful for aging brains and playing is an Emotional Fitness Exercise. I am saving my pennies to get in on the Move Your Body type of games that are now the big craze. These combine my Move Your Body exercise with my Laugh and Play exercise.
I play Worddrop II and do jig saw puzzles on– line; sometimes the fun or intrigue or just the pleasure of sharing knowledge and personal stuff does keep me enthralled and away from doing some of the other things I do. But so can reading a book or a puzzle in an unwired life.
More important than all of the above is that nothing is matters more in staying and living strong than social connections. Caring social connections nurture health and add to the quality of life. When I moved from the East Coast to Denver, I did lose the wonderful easy face-to-face contact with family and many friends. I did not lose daily contact with those on Facebook. Without those contacts, I probably would have sunk into depression.