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Ennui

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I belong to/am a member of/participate in and contribute to a fair number of social networking sites. There are the two ning sites – BESig ning, managed and run by the exceptional Carl Dowse and the ning site for the company I work for; there’s Twitter – not my favourite; Facebook, where I have two “presences” – friends/family and work; and two blogs – this one for my work interests and another one as a marketing tool for the school I work at. Then there’s email – work, personal and gmail accounts, and the ubiquitous text machine – the phone.

Suddenly and without warning, I’m tired of it all. I love the idea, don’t get me wrong. All of the social networking I have joined up to and contributed to have made an enormous difference in my life. I have found old friends I thought I’d never see or speak to again, I have made new friends that I never would have met. I have shared ideas, music and photos, memories, laughs and tears. I’ve argued and discussed, pontificated and soap-boxed, ranted and raved, colluded, concurred, sympathised and praised. But for some reason, I have dried up. I cannot think of a thing to say: even emailing my oldest friend has become a chore. It’s all too much. It sucks up too much time; being witty and erudite and interesting and controversial and innovative and shocking and challenging and amusing and enthusiastic all the time is exhausting. And lately a lot of my posts have been misinterpreted, caused upset, got people in a huff and generally not been as well-received as they used to be. Maybe my mood is tainting what I write.

And I have noticed too that there has been a slow decrease in the number of posts from friends and colleagues. Daily updates have become weekly; spirited exchanges have become less spirited and dwindled to a few desultory comments; pages on Facebook that once changed minute by minute, don’t change for days; Twitter feeds have slowed to a trickle and bear nothing more than cursory comments or a lonely link. Comments on ning sites remain unanswered and interaction is short at best.

What’s happened? Is it just because it’s summer? Is it because we are all glued to the telly watching and waiting for the golds to materialise? Or is it more that that? Have we become indifferent to and bored with it all? Does it no longer interest us, excite us, inspire us or enthuse us? If so, what’s next?

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7 responses »

  1. Hi Candy

    I expect that it’s probably down to a number of things, including the summer break and the fact that people are glued to the Olympics as you say – although I’m guessing that information overload is probably somewhere in the mix, as well.

    Like you, I think many aspects of social media are great, but the sheer amount of information that gets bombarded about nowadays and the endless stream of requests to like, re-tweet, share, and perform random acts of kindness can sometimes be overwhelming – particularly when they are of the “my cat has a sore paw” – please like his facebook wall, and post a message of support” variety…an exaggeration, granted, but I expect you get my drift 😉 Twitter can be a bit like the story of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”. If you play the ‘wow!’ card and call in favours for fairly run-of-the-mill things, when you eventually *do* have something interesting and useful to say, people will have long ago stopped listening.

    Maybe I’m getting old and cynical, but as the old saying goes, sometimes less is more. As to what will be up next I’ve no idea, but for the time being anyway, I think I’ll be sticking to social media ‘lite’ mode.

    Reply
    • Hi Sue and thanks for popping in! Always a pleasure to “see” you! Media “lite” sounds good. And hopefully I can get a “summer” (ha ha!) break too. And I’m climbing on the old and cynical bandwagon with you. Save me a seat by window!

      Reply
  2. Anthony Gaughan

    Speaking purely for myself: it’s because I’m being shafted by too much work and not enough time to do it reasonably in. Then I console myself (or flee reality) by maintaining my own blog – to get my head straight and keep me sane. Then I have just enough time to realise that I have to choose between catching up with everyone else or getting an extra hour of sleep.

    Others may have the time management and iron will to square the social media circle, but I clearly don’t. So for me it’s a bit of “not posting but drowning”.

    Ho-hum. All things pass; this may too. Going back to by cave now.

    You look after yersel’, y’hear?

    Reply
    • Hey Anthony
      You still on sabbatical? How did you manage to get a sabbatical? Was it self-sorted, or part of your contract? It would be SO good if sabbaticals were mandatory…
      You take care of you too…. speak soon.

      C

      Reply
  3. I decided facebook is a bit of a bore, and I never have seen the point of twitter. Mind you. I’m a miserable bastard who dislikes telephones as well. As for blogging, I’m ploughing on, latest effort went up yesterday and it took me five hours to write, so I hope some bugger reads it eventually. This time of year is always very quiet, as people with lives are spending their evenings sitting outside pubs or going to barbecues and doing other summer activities popular among the earthlings instaed of sitting in front of their computers. It picks up in October when the clocks go back and they start paying attention again.

    Reply
  4. “People who have lives” – I remember that time: it was when two of us were earning the money; the other one a hell of a lot more than I was. I could take holidays, and eat out, and have long weekends in nice places, and entertain friends, and buy pretty things to amuse myself. Now? pffft. Not worth a hill of beans and work it is until the mortal shuffles itself off…..

    Reply
  5. Pingback: #Exhausted | Strength Through Brokenness

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