Thursday, 28 February 2008
A week has gone by and I have found my self back on Facebook . Things seem to have continued in the same vain as before, I have found my self compulsively checking it every so often, at work.
I have found if I have a reason I check it even more, a met someone at the movies the other night who I quite liked and I kept checking my Facebook , checking for a reply for their message, it wasnt good as I kept thinking about it.
The drip, drip, drip of the mini-feed kept calling me, the subtle call and lure of the digital slot machine.
I wonder if it was such a good idea to go back on to the system? Maybe I am just one of those people where my only healing from an addiction is to cut it out completely?
All or nothing?
What are your thoughts on this? Write to me and tell me about your experiences. How do you manage to limit your msn messenger time, Facebook and other dating and chat sites? Do you feel like these sites take over your free time?
I do think sometimes its nice to sit and chat to people, but wasting time is a different story, when you have a list a mile long of other important things to do, like drawing, washing, tidying up!
I do think I will continue to try wean my self off this, but during my week off from Facebook , I felt I was disconnected and isolated, there was definitely an overwhelming sense of being with-out something.
I do believe it is connected to my need to feel connected to other people, something I am planning on tackeling in the next few months, with maybe some kind of therapy or assistance from a skilled professional.
I want to be able to live my life and not rely on digital technology to feel close to people.
Monday, 25 February 2008
I logged in to find 15 messages, 2 wall posts and 15 pokes.
Nice to know people pay attention to me! ha ha.
So after some thought I realised that I wouldnt throw the baby out with the bath water, social networking sites when used correctly can be a useful tool for business and pleasure.
I just have to remember to keep my usage down, with no facebook at work, or on my phone.
Stay tuned as I will continue to write about trends in social networking and how people will remain connected in the next few years.
Internet technologies have always been a passion of mine, so it would make sense I should write about them.
Friday, 22 February 2008
Some strange nightmare, but I can't go back to sleep, oh well.
So its been 4 days and no Facebook, I've really wanted to go back, but I havent.
Only 3 days to go, can I do it?
How is your facebook addiction coming along?
Thursday, 21 February 2008
On the train home, I saw an article in one of free London papers, entitled Facebook BACKLASH - Online phenomenon falters as visitors drop by 5%. I found it quite odd that on the week I decide to flip out about Facebook, its being echoed around the country and world. I hear more and more people are, what is being dubbed, committing Facebook Suicide.
All sounds a bit harsh to me, but I am not far past the thought of committing something.
I was thinking today about SecondLife. It is a huge multi player gaming or world, where people move around in 3d and talk, interact and even have sex! (whoooozers!) yeah! It's true, look it up!
Honestly though, it should be called "Don't have a life? Connect here" I tried it for a few days once and found it dull, a lot of strange looking avatars floating around, pointing and dancing.
There are 5 zillion people connected to it at any one time, and its internal currency where players buy and sell things, makes more money then a small countries G.D.P. (thats the money a country makes in a year, in plain English)
You can read all about the madness of Second Life here.
If you didn't already know, Second life has been the cause of murder (see: http://tinyurl.com/2kk4ub), gambling, pedophilia and a whole host of other crimes, it has become a virtually real world in it's own right.
The worrying part of this system is that it has begun already to take over people's lives, young teenagers in China and in many areas of Asia, are spending up to 9 hours a day, sitting at a computer terminal, "connecting" with people around the world, via the Second Life, interface.
On the surface it may seem harmless, but from my own point of view and the view of many behavioral psychologists. when children "connect" with others on these systems day in and day out, they are missing out the vital experiences and skills to equip them later in life, but substituting real human interaction with this artificial human interaction, it is my belief they are stunting both their emotional growth and physical well being as young people.
Get a real life, not a second one.
Wednesday, 20 February 2008
Welcome. It is the end of day 2 and I have successfully stayed away from Facebook, msn.
I have however partaken in a bit of internet dating, but I think thats going to have to come under the same banner of banned sites. I wasted at least 2 hours tonight surfing, when I could have been drawing!
I have always been passionate about drawing, but never really given my self the time, primarily because ive been so busy distracting my self with crap.
Tomorrow is a new day, I hope to keep away and not faulter.
I did however today, feel the pull of the drip, drip, drip and the distant call of the mini-feed on facebook, as every one at work uses it.
Stay tuned in to see how I get on.
Tuesday, 19 February 2008
I realized that if I could keep this up for long enough I may actually get a lot of shit done.
Self control never came easily to me as a child, teenager or an adult, though how I managed to kick a 20 a day smoking habit, I don't know.
I realised today that I DONT NEED facebook, my life functioned just fine with out it before, infact I used to have loads more fun and get up to all sorts of stuff before.
As the years have gone on, I have relied more and more on msn messenger, myspace, gdar, and other internet chat sites ans services to feed my desire for human interaction.
It has to be said that nothing beats good old fashioned face to face connections.
I also got to think about the things I do'nt do any more; ask you self these simple questions;
1. When was the last time you just sat and read at home, and by read, I mean a real book and not a glossy mag, the news paper or some article on the internet, a real book with real pages, something to exercise that brain, get it to churn and listen and learn, I mean kicked back, turn the TV and computer off and sat back and relaxed and read..? maybe never?
2. When did you last sit back and just listen to music, just lie down and look at the cieling and think about your life, your hopes and dreams, make plans and sing.
3. When did you just pick up the phone and call you friends and arrange something over the phone, instead of sending a text message, an email, or a facebook meeting request.
4. When did you last just go for a walk, just to go for a walk and clear your mind.
All these things you may do or may not do, but I feel that because of my constant "ON STATE" my constant connection to this here system that I am connecting to, you through, I have become a drone.
I sat at my computer the other night, trying to work, trying to get on with some personal project and I just couldn't, it was like there was some kind of dull fuzz, an interference, if you will, that was blocking me. I think I understand what it is now.
It is the constant drip drip drip, of the facebook mini-feed, of the new emails, the new posts on myspace, the drip drip of messages from the meaningless "friends" on msn messenger, that pose as a constant and continuous distraction from every day life, and its array of necessary tasks.
This interference pattern may not occur in all of us, but I do believe that a vast majority of us are very prone to these addictive patterns. It is definitely why gambling, drug addiction, debt and all the other social diseases, we have today have become so rampant in our society.
People are over whelmed with stimuli that it creates this interference pattern in the brain.
I don't know if I will go back to facebook , how I feel after today, I am not sure I will ever use it again, I feel like someone told me a terrible secret and it struck fear in me so deep that I woke up as if from a terrible nightmare, with a huge intake of breath and a cold sweat on my brow.
Only time will tell, but for the moment, it is only day 1 and I do not want to get ahead of my self.
Drip, Drip, Drip I can hear the call of a distant RSS feed, and mini-feed, a message board, the drip, drip, drip of information, slowing calling, longing for my minds connection.
Connect with the drip, drip, drip and soon you will see how the hands on your watch begin to speed up, and faster and faster before the night is gone.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, as each week flies by, day after day rolling over and over, as the sands of your own personal sand timer begin to speed up, ask your self? Does this connection serve me? Does it add to my life? Or is it sapping my life?
Think, read, write and create, the only forces against the interference, the only way to block it out and stop the consumption and dull muffled overwhelming battle from with-in.
My younger brother, who is currently living in South Africa, sent me a link.
It is a new animated series about a future earth,
Set in the not-too-distant future, planet Earth is being ravaged by rampant environmental change and collapsing economies, as widespread social movements triggered by online interaction are reshaping the face of world politics. Saturated by media, people have lost their ability to dream and plug into a sophisticated communication system each night called the DreamField (similar to the sea shells, from Fahrenheit 451), which gives them access to a virtual dream-state, networked with the rest of the world. Online, dreams have become just another kind of media, and a group of dreamstars have emerged as the culture's new celebrities. Coming from an established political family, Aya is one of the most popular dreamstars, and millions plug into her dreams every night to experience her adventures through a hyper-dimensional vide-game reality, live as they sleep.
The series charts Aya's coming of age as she travels with her guru, Shen, on a transformational journey to visit the most spiritually charged places on Earth - re-connecting with the wisdom-keepers of the planet and re-learning the ancient spiritual traditions to evolve her consciousness and fight to restore humanity's ability to dream and be one with them selves and others again.
In this book I am reading, Fahrenheit 451 people stop reading books and the world turns in on its self, because they are PLUGGED IN to this information system.
War rages around them, people die and suffer, but they are numb, numb from the constant, drip drip drip drip.
They have little white seashells (earphones) plugged in to their ears, day and night, listening to the drip drip drip of information.
Their lives consist of sitting, listening, watching, listening and watching, and its freaked me out, because that is where my spare time goes.
Sitting, interacting with these digital ghosts... the Pa lour Family (see the book)
I cant tell you how its freaked me.
To the point I feel quite sick, like I've fallen for some kind of dark trap.
Like I could have woken up from some drug induced sleep.
I know your probably amused by this, but that book was written in 1950s when there were no such things as ear phones and walls of huge TVs.
I cant tell you how this could change my life.
Or maybe it won't, but I feel like something has changed.
A bit more about this book:
Fahrenheit 451 tells the story of Guy Montag; a fireman whose job is not to put out fires – all homes of Bradbury’s future having been fireproofed – but to start them. The firemen’s prime targets are books.
What follows is a poetic and mesmerizing look at a future of censorship that has far too many parallels to modern day consumerist societies. This edition contains an introduction and afterword that is just as interesting as the novel itself. Here Bradbury cites the arrival of MTV and other commercial entertainment as factors that are distracting us, as a society, from the essential knowledge found in libraries.
(Robbie says: What freakes me most, about this is how many of my friends never read, who dont read books, there is perhaps a whole generation growing up, who dont read, could this book be more of a truth then I thought)
He notes that such firemen are not needed anymore because we are doing the job for them.
Also explained is the genesis of the book itself. The author describes how F451 has its origins in 5 short stories including a surreal-sounding one based on an experience of his being stopped by a police patrol car just for walking down the street.
A superbly written book that has eerie similarities with the world today.
Written over 50 years ago.
Monday, 18 February 2008
Tonight is the first night, I sat down and realized that I have a problem.
Since I began using the internet way back in 1997 I have chatted on line, it all began with IRC, for all your young folk, IRC is a short name for Internet relay chat, its what people used to use to chat with, thousands of chat rooms, about every type of thing. Think of a person, a fetish, an idea and you will find a chat room on IRC on some IRC server somewhere.
I have wasted countless hours chatting to random people about meaningless crap, and today i realized that it has to stop.
I want to have a happy, fruitful and full life, but I spend way too much time chatting and trying to connect with people, that don't honestly give a damn. It is an addiction and I think I can finally say that I am hooked and I have been hooked for a long time.
You ask, whats so bad about it, if its not actually hurting me? Well I will tell you whats wrong with it... it is like a silent thief, whats it stealing? I hear you say; well i would say one of the most important things and most priceless things we could ever own in our lives...
Hours and hours and hours of my life have been lost, doing piss all sitting chatting, and connecting with people, and things that do not count.
Us watching them, watching them watching us? Why what for?
It all feeds some deep and hidden human desire, the fear of being alone..
But tonight I realized that it has to stop, its holding me back.
With the recent onset of Facebook in to my life, it has taken an even bigger chunk of my personal and free time, I check it on my phone, I check it at work, I check it at home, I check it when I get up in the morning and before I go to sleep at night...
Checking, looking, watching, hopeing waiting, wondering, checking, updating, updating, adding, watching, looking... and what for? Why?
So I can feel connected to my friends and family? Its all a lie, you want to know how I really feel? I couldn't feel more disconnected from people.
It is so impersonal, all people do, is just message you, and arrange things over Facebook, noone can be bothered to pick up the phone.
MSN messenger is the same, I have countless "friends" on msn messenger that are always online, we chat, and talk about meaningless bollox for hours and hours, when I should be working studying, learning, talking to friends, drawing, running, and all the other stuff I should be doing in my life.
These technologies only create an excuse for people not to interact in real life, they take the human out of human contact, and Ive had enough.
So today is Monday 18th of February 2008 and I am going to cut it all out, first for a week and then see how I feel, see what happens if I can survive with out it.
Its become so in-grained in my life, its going to be worse then when I managed to give up smoking, which I did COLD TURKEY after a 20 a day habit.
So if your interested and you have got this far, come with me on this little journey I am going to take you on.
The thing is, my job is Internet based, I work on the web, I work as a digital designer for a London media agency, so it will be hard, but I am going to do it, I think my life will be a lot better off. Actually writing about it here, is a very cathartic experience, I hope that I can offer some advice and solace for any other poor soul that feels like I do, about this disease.
A very digital addiction.