I was watching a segment on 60 minuets the other day with my family. They were having an interview with a man who designed the smartphone, and how it was purposely designed to be an addictive entity.
Yes, we all know how additive smartphones can be. I was once very addicted to mine, regarding social media. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblur, Pinterest, YouTube, The Hunt… I used them all! The only one I didn’t have, was Instagram. Which I hear is also owned by Face book now. So…
I try to never fully become addictive to anything. And I know the warning signs on when to cut myself off and quit things.
I have an addictive personality to began with. Which is probably why I stayed clear of drugs as a teen. I know I would have got myself addicted and probably OD’d. *sigh*
So back in June of 2015, I went cold turkey from social media.
A couple weeks prior to cutting myself off from it, I turned all my notifications on my cellphone off.
That, in itself helped ALOT! I highly recommend doing that if you can relate.
By doing that I was able to once again, take control of myself.
Then I started praying that the desire to be connected with people all the time would cease.
I had people all over the world reaching out to me to ‘chat’ Hours on end. Single moms, abusive wives….etc.
And seeing as I get involved, and invested rather quickly, it was making me go a stir crazy.
I found myself in constant worry about people whom I have never met before. People in India, Spain, England.
I would have dreams and nightmares about these people.
Amd it got to the point that it was just never enough time invested. People wanted to talk all the time, and it was taking me away from my actually family life.
So one day I just cut myself off completely!
At first it was only going to be for a month. For years I would take a couple months out of each year to fast from social media. I got my Facebook account back in 2007. Before that, I was all about message boards. Which had their place, but were equally addicting.. looking back at them now.
This time was different though. After the first month of social media fasting was over I didn’t have the urge to log back on.
Then another month went by. I started getting texts from online friends who I had gotten close too. They asked if I was going to return online, and if so, when.
I even had a woman ask my husband for my number so she could call me to just vent. She told him that I was her favorite person to vent too.
I didn’t even have to think about it after that one…
The answer was clear. No!
I was not going to log back on.
Keeping in mind, my number one weakness was facebook. After all, it really conbined everything into one place.
But I was fine. Completely fine! *still shocked*
It has been two years now.
Yes, I do go on Twitter still, but it’s not at all addicting and I don’t have a dozen people always opening chat to talk the day away. As for Facebook, I closed my account with them. And it feels like it was a lifetime ago. I think of all the hours that were wasted. I try not to beat myself up about that, but I do. All those hours that I invested trying to save people.
I hear that most folks use social media to stay in contact with family… but really, if it’s family, they have your number if they have anything substantial to discuss with you.
As for me, the few family members that I did have on my social media were no one that I was really close to at all…maybe as a child, but then people grow up, move away, and start their own lives. And that’s not a bad, or sad thing.
It’s life! It’s perfectly fine! Really.
When I think of my family now… it’s not at all the distant relatives.
It’s the people who I live with. THEY are my family. I know it may sound mean, but I really don’t consider aunts, uncles, or cousins, relevant to me anymore. I have one sibling that I have not spoken to in several years. I use to try because I thought it was important. But I was just living in the past. Thinking of all the childhood memories instead of living in the present/future.
Sure we use to lol on each other’s Facebook posts from time to time, but other then that, we have both chosen different lifestyles and do not share anything in common other then our DNA. And for me, that is simply not enough to warrant a relationship. It’s not.
So getting back to that 60 minutes episode and addictions.
The employee was discussing how the staff designed the phone to make the user addictive. As well as all social media sites to follow suit.
In fact, the studies they have done have shown how the brain gets stimulated each time someone likes, follows, or interacts with you.
It also tracks your likes with times of days, and which emojis you use frequently use. It really is designed to…. ummm… F*** with your brain to make you feel a certain way. More less.
Mind blowing! At least to me it is.
I know this is the world we live in, and that most folks don’t bat an eye at any of this.. it is what it is.. sort of speak..
But I am in control of how and when I use social media now. I do not wish to have something have that power over me. It’s personal to me.
Now let’s talk about advertisers for a quick minute.
This is my new annoyance. One in which I hope I have put an end too now, by always clearing my cookies, browser, and keeping my blue tooth, location, and Siri off.
Yes, I sometimes use these add-ons. I don’t care about Siri, but I need to need to use locations when I use shop-kick, ubur, or fly. But as soon as I’m done, they go right back off. I also don’t allow things to access my pictures or personal information. This has taken many videos and reads to know how to manage my privacy settings to assist me. I am not saying that I do not think cell phones, or even social media should have never been invented. I realize, both, have their place. What I am saying, is that I want to be able to choose how and when I use them. And if possible, I do not want companies using my personal whereabouts and data to profit themselves without my consent.
Example: A couple weeks ago while out thrift shopping for eBay, I came across a brand of blue jeans that I have never heard of before.
I quickly pulled out my phone and googled the brand. To my surprise, they were worth $200 a pair. So I bought them to resell.
What do you think came next?
The following week I got a catalogue in the mail from that jean brand. Coincidence? I think not.
Thinking back now, this is not the first time this has happened to me.
I hate how every single move we make is getting tracked. Not that we are doing anything wrong. Well, at least most of us, that is. We are all just living our lives.. but in a very public fashion nowadays. If I was younger, perhaps this wouldn’t phase me. But as I am getting older, I demand to live a more discreet life. And if I want to share an event, I will. But that will be my choice. This is why I’ve never tagged people in pictures while on Facebook. I use to have people tag me in pics, and it would drive me nuts! I find it terribly rude.
I’ve tried to keep myself on the low-down these past couple years. I never give my real email, zip code or phone number to any of the cashiers that ask. And they all ask nowadays, it seems. Can’t I even enjoy my shopping hobby without being harassed?! Strong words, but I do see it as harassment.
Last year I was shopping and the cashier asked me for my zipcode before proceeding to ring up my order. She caught me at a moment when I was already feeling cranky. As I was standing in a very long line for the past twenty minutes.
When asked, I told her that my zipcode did not matter. So no, she could not have it.
What happened next?
She claimed that I couldn’t purchase the items then. That she needed a zipcode.
It really anerved me.I was not going to let it go though. I told her to please get the store manager for me. He came over and asked me why I didn’t want to give the cashier my zipcode. I told him that giving my zipcode was not an option. He then made it look like I was the problem because I wouldn’t give them it. It was so dumb! But I was not going to do it.
So he ended up telling the cashier to put the towns local zipcode in and proceed.
I never did go back to that store. And yes, I know how it works, they want my zipcode to track who, and when people from other towns come to their stores. They also want to track what we buy, and how much. That way they can know how much to order, and when. I get it!
But this should not be mandatory. And by no means should the customer be made to feel belittled for not complying to such a question.
How did stores manage before? They just did!
Sure, it’s just a silly zipcode, not your blood. But it’s the principle of it. Why can’t a person go into a store and buy something anymore without giving away personal information?
And who knows, some day ot may be blood.
My new goal is to go back to using just cash. It’s not that I don’t want to embrace this worlds changes. I love change, in fact. But it needs to be optional. Do not ask me to comply and give my concent to everything. It’s simply not going to happen.