© VeerBy Janelle Hanchett
When I thought about writing this post, I was going to use it as a forum to scold those horribly annoying people who can't have lunch with you because they're too busy tweeting about having lunch with you.
And then I realized I am one of those people and I grew immensely uncomfortable.
I used to be normal. Then I got an iPhone.
I used to have this wretched little Blackberry that did nothing - and even that it does poorly. I would gaze at my husband's iPhone with a longing in my heart: the touch screen, the plethora of apps, Facebook so clear and bright. So when it was finally time for an upgrade, I splurged on my own iPhone.
And now it's like crack to me.
If I don't have the lil sucker with me I feel like somebody removed my pants without me looking.
I'm like a blind puppy searching for her mother: "Come back, come back! I'll die without you."
When I can't find my phone I think my heart actually beats faster. Wow that's really weird to put that in writing.
And a couple months after getting it, I wasn't capable of having a conversation with somebody because I need to check … what? What is it exactly that I need to check?
The recent drivel on Facebook?
The mind-numbing nonsense of Twitter?
WAIT, DID SOMEONE TAG ME IN A POST?
Is something on the brink of happening that's so important it overrides my actual life? Or have I somehow gotten confused about where life is actually lived?
Plus: Are Social Networking Sites Specifically for Kids a Good Idea?
Honestly, I think it's the latter. I got so addicted to social media and the ego boost it gives me - People like my post and therefore they must like me, so clearly I have value and purpose on earth! - that online life somehow became more interesting, engaging and rewarding than real life.
Because let's all get something clear: Social media is not real life. Perhaps we should all say that together as a mantra each morning. Social media is not real life.
And while I'm busy reading posts on Facebook with virtually no relevance to my life (no offense, friends, you know I love you all) and responding to email and text messages that could totally wait, my real life is screaming right by me at warp speed, whether or not I'm paying attention.
My kids want to go to the park. My idiot dog is flailing around in front of his tennis ball. Flowers need to get planted. My husband would totally dig some cuddle time.
But I can't. A complete stranger just tweeted at me and I feel the compulsive need to respond.
Meanwhile, my mom has grown a year older and my best friend is waiting for a visit, and I've got work to do and books to read and a damn life to live.
But what's happening on Facebook?
When I'm 85, will I appreciate the moments I spent arguing with semi-conscious strangers who have trolled my page? Or will I wish I would have read that book to my toddler a few days ago, when she crawled up on my lap and I told her "In a few minutes, honey. Mama's busy."
When will those few minutes come, and what exactly am I busy doing?
Nothing. I'm doing nothing.
But I'm tweeting about it.
Maybe next time, when the opportunity arises, I'll post something new: "Going offline to return to the living. See you tomorrow." And then I'll sit down with my kid and live.
Actually, that just made me think of an excellent tweet. Hang on a sec ...
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