Social Media Struggles

Does anyone find being connected constantly useful? Does it ease the stress in your life or add to it? Both, I think. I often contemplate if I ought to be more connected…you know, spending 6 hours of my day checking Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, email, and posting my daily activities every four minutes.

A few months ago I got a ‘smart’ phone, whatever that means. For people whose disability affects their dexterity, tapping and touching microscopic buttons can be quite exhausting. In fact, my favorite feature is the speech-to-text function. I use it constantly. But that has its own frustrations: you have to know exactly what you want to say, enunciating every sound and without pausing. Really, how useful is this function if you have to go back and change the words you supposedly spoke? Even the word recognition feature is frustrating. You practically have to text out the whole darn word, anyway.

Well, I am getting carried away here. My point is that for someone like me who has fine motor issues, texting can be quite tedious and tiring. And don’t get me started on the games where you tap to earn points and money. Those “carpal tunnel” games aren’t as fun as you think when your hand starts shaking uncontrollably.

So, I must always be texting or talking to my phone. Is that living a real life? I avoid being connected as much as I can, without neglecting my online responsibilities, of course. There are negatives to not being connected…you don’t get to see your family’s cutesy baby pictures, you miss all the kitten memes, you miss what your friends had for dinner and the pictures of that vegetarian lasagna. You miss people making rude comments about their jobs only to have their employers read them on Facebook, you miss your friends’ wins on Zynga games. You miss the tweets about what your favorite music star wore yesterday, and you miss spending pointless hours figuring out what your friends’ friends are doing. No thanks.

Yes, I wonder what I am missing. The hype? I don’t think I want to know all this useless information. On the other hand, I find it frustrating that I can’t have friendships without social media. I mean, how else am I going to find out my best friend got a new job, my three cousins are all pregnant at the same time, Starbucks is having a $2 drink special today?

My boyfriend is more connected than I am, and that’s good, since he maintains his blog and is trying to get published. He always gives me updates on how my friends are doing, what is going on in the latest cute animal world, our friend’s new hair color and the latest parties we are invited to.

It’s difficult for me to understand why I must be connected in order to maintain and form relationships. There are good reasons for being so connected, and I’m trying to remember those things. Being the editor for ILWAD, for instance; I wouldn’t be able to have accomplished that unless I was connected, given that Ron lives on the other side of the country and the other writers live in other countries! Can you imagine the commute if we worked in the same office?

If I wasn’t connected, ordering from Amazon would be impossible, since there is no actual store. Promoting ILWAD and my boyfriend’s business online, of course, would be meaningless. I wouldn’t be able to see baby pictures of my cousins who live in Japan. I wouldn’t be able to read reviews of hotels so as to avoid the dives. I couldn’t afford to take cheap online educational classes. I wouldn’t be able to know when my friends were doing something exciting. I wouldn’t have gotten such amazing experience building WordPress websites.

So, I guess like anything else in life there are pluses and minuses. I can’t live with or without social media, and it’s here to stay. Slowly, I am getting used to it, and finding more positives each day.

Readers, how do you handle the information overload with social media and being connected? How do you keep your sanity…maybe you can offer me some tips!



5 thoughts on “Social Media Struggles”

  1. I feel your pain Sarah. It seems that social media marketing is the BOSS these days. If you aren’t participating then you aren’t going anywhere with your marketing.

    And using voice recognition to do so is definitely not the easiest thing either. I am fairly happy with the Windows 7 speech recognition program but it is so true about having to edit all lot.

    As a person with a disability, online marketing is about the best option I seem to have for improving my bottom line. The problem has come to be about defining what I have of value to offer to all those fabulous contacts that can be made from social media sites.

    I’ve seen all these reports about how anybody, from any background and any skill level can create their own future. But guess I just haven’t figured out how to package my life skills and interests. More importantly than that is finding the starving crowd that I can feed.

    I’m curious to know how many of your readers have wanted to start their own online business or blog. I’d love to hear from anyone who reads this post whether it’s something they have considered or tried.

    If so, what was your biggest obstacle?

  2. Sara,

    Sorry for being late in responding to this great read back in August,

    However I am not a participant in facebook and other social media world wide sites. They would totally drive me bonkers.. friend defriends baaddie baaddie LOL

    I have chosen to pick my interests, battles and leave the rest to others not to even attempt at over load, however I must admit the recent election had me on fact check more so than I’d like to be but the disastrous emails that sailed in here were so altered I had to find the truth 🙂

    So late but with interest, have a Super Thanksgiving 🙂


  3. I look to the online community as a place where I can be myself, escape my family, my parents, and yes even my animals sometimes (even though they are my saving grace most of the time), I don’t do Facebook, too many viruses and computer issues that it causes, it has infected my desktop computer and I need to find a way to clear it off as the usual means, my antivirus software and malware are not picking it up so I am going to have to so it manually, anyway, I got a bit off subject. I , too, am like you, I just as soon not deal with anyone that get “connected”, but I need an outlet, someplace I can go and be myself without putting on airs and feeling like I need to please whoever is at the other end, so I find it has it’s uses, and with sites like this, where I can actually get some support its worth sticking my neck out to try and be a part of something.

  4. Hi, well the smart phone is cool and it can help you make fast connections with editors of newspapers and magazines, what is your fiancé trying to get published?

  5. I have had a smartphone for quite a few years now. For me it’s a blessing and a curse to be constantly connected. I have a Facebook account. I check it maybe 4x a year. My settings are private. I don’t actually post things and certainly do not hit like button. My family and friends, not everyone who wants to friend me, are the reason I have it. I think people put too much info. I don’t think I need to know you got groceries today. I use it to keep up with my family and people I am actually in touch with, my mom drops her cell in toilet almost annually and lives out of state. She loses her phone and all numbers and contacts, even mine. Sometimes she’s considerate enough to post a message that she is okay and awaiting new phone and needs our contact info again.
    The productive side of staying connected is that I can communicate with physicians, scan my insurance card. Download forms to complete ahead of time. I’ve even done therapy via skype and google plus when I otherwise wouldn’t havehad a way to see them in person and insurance has covered it just the same as if I had.
    I use Walgreens to scan my rx refills and submit it. I have my husband number linked to this so he gets the text from them the rx is ready and knows to pick it up otw from work for me.
    Also we can text each other, we play scrabble app for fun. As a couple I feel more in touch. If something happens I can discuss it right away. He can email me faxes. I can do a lot on this phone. Even when im belly up in pain.
    There are a lot of things that are useful. It’s finding the balance that’s hard. It can be info overload. It can sometimes be the only lifeline you have if you can’t get out but I think that it shouldn’t be your primary way to connect to others unless you really have no other way. My family is spread out further than I can travel

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