I am part of, a phrase I am really loving, the Oregon Trail Generation. Basically, it means I was born before this massive shift in technology happened. I remember using 5-inch floppy disks and having to use dos to run the program. I remember when computer screens were black with green or orange text and pixelated graphics. I was in college when Ohio State was invited to join Facebook. I watched as cell phones went from larger than the handset of the corded phone at home to small enough to fit into a person’s pocket.
But, like much of the rest of the country, I have a smartphone that has all sorts of apps and regularly get notified to a list of things. Well, at least I used to.
Lately, I’ve been listening to more recent episodes of Kelly Carlin’s podcast, Waking from the American Dream. Kelly takes time every year to step away from social media for a time. Being a Generation X-er, this whole social media thing happened later in her life than mine. Being an Oregon Trail-er, I find an appeal in taking a break from social media. Which is interesting since I’ve recently started using my Twitter for more than a feed for my blogs and following other people. Kelly has taken months away from social media, something I could not bring myself to do.
But I have found something that I find I can do. I am going back to college. I am going back to the days when the only time I could access my social media is when I was in front of the computer. I have turned off notifications for Facebook. I have turned off notifications for Twitter. And, when I do bring up Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Tumblr, I do it intentionally. I am not letting myself bring up the page just to kill time. I am bringing it up to intentionally look at what is going on. I don’t want to just mindlessly be scrolling and re-Tweeting or sharing things. I want to be consciously engaging with what is there.
I wonder what would happen if everyone did that. Consciously, intentionally interacting with social media.