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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Too Much Information

These days everyone is afraid of child abductions and my question is this. Are there more child abductions now than there used to be? Or are we just more aware of child abductions because of the amount of information available to us through the vast technology to which we have access? I have this same question about Autism, peanut allergies and ADHD. Did those issues exist back when I was a kid and we just didn't know? Or is there something in our environment making these problems more prevalent now than they were forty years ago? Don't answer. If I really want to know I can google it. 

Because I live nearly 8,000 miles away from my home country and many loved ones, I enjoy having information about what everyone back in America is up to and I am fortunate because I live in the age of technology and I can easily access this information. I can what'sapp with my mom every day to say hello. Mr. Deep and I can Skype, Face Time, email, and go on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (we are too old for Snapchat.) In fact, it's only when I am on the plane flying to the U.S. from Joburg or vice versa that I fully realize how far away we currently live from America. When you have flown seven hours and still have another eleven to go you think "holy $%$&@ the world is a big place and we live far from home!" But most of the time I don't feel so far from home because of the technology that allows us to communicate and keep in touch. 

So I like technology. I'm a fan. Except lately I hate it. Facebook in particular has become intolerable in my opinion. Six months or a year ago Facebook was only mildly annoying. Last year, thanks to Facebook, I was kept fully up to speed on important American news topics such as the Starbucks red cups fiasco and the Target bathroom gender saga. Without Facebook, I would have missed important "holidays" like international frozen yogurt day or love your pet parakeet day. But these days I am avoiding Facebook because the U.S. election talk is more than I can take. 

For months leading up to the election, Facebook was unbearable and now that the election is over it is even worse. The entire news feed is full of political posts from people on all sides. Viewpoints are one thing but Facebook is full of fighting, nasty comments, stupid memes and links to articles that try to dumb everything down. 

Everyone is so busy talking and blasting out his or her opinion five times a day on Facebook that no one is taking the time to try to understand what anyone else thinks. Have you ever, EVER seen a Facebook post where someone commented "thanks Chris, your post really opened my eyes, I now fully understand your viewpoint and even if I don't agree with it I appreciate the opportunity to have my mind expanded" No, you haven't.  

I also don't want to know the political leanings of Timmy from third grade or Toby my former co-worker. Because I used to like Toby. I liked seeing photos of his kids and his dogs but now that I know the full details of Toby's political thoughts I think that he is a total neanderthal. And if it wasn't for Facebook Toby would not even be in my life and now he is in my life daily and I don't want him there anymore. 

So I have to take a break from Facebook. I can't fully break away because someone might post a cute photo of me that I need to see so I will glance at Facebook now and then. But that will be the extent. 

2 comments:

  1. Amen. I may be guilty of the odd article or two and am also wanting to slow that down, if not stop. As you say, it makes no difference anyway. Just makes people you used to be friends with hate you, and vice versa. I also had no idea how bad that fake news scandal was and that half the country might have voted based on what they thought were news articles but in truth peddled by some internet startup in Macedonia that realized that right-wing fake news sells the most advertising for their site. I used to be the one to defend Facebook and social media to my husband who complains about them nonstop but doesn't understand the, but now I think he may have a point. Am reading a really good book these days, amazing what you can do with your time!

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    1. I too have posted things in the past regarding my political opinions but I am going to stop doing that and will only look at FB every so often and will only read the things I am truly interested in reading and yes, it is definitely a major time suck so there is another benefit of spending less time looking at it.

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Hello and thank you for taking an interest in my blog. This blog tells the story of some big life changes. First, my husband and I have moved from the U.S. to South Africa for three years. We moved due to an exciting opportunity my husband had with his job. Second, I won't be working anymore. I'm actually not allowed to work so that will be different given that for the past twenty years I've been somewhat of a workaholic. I'm excited to share our adventures with you! My thoughts and opinions are my own.