It’s too loud!
I think we’re all getting to that point, where “it” is too loud, all around us. We went out to dinner with a friend tonight and politics came up. It was my fault; I made an offhand comment but the conversation turned pretty dark. We got back on track quickly, thankfully using the line of, “So, how ’bout them Cubs?” It got a laugh out of my friend, but I had to apologize because I’m the one that started it, so-to-speak. But the fact is, it’s there, on all our minds, like the elephant in the middle of the room.
So I propose a return to an older set of morals when we’re with our friends, and even strangers, coworkers – in short, other people. Remember your grandparents’ idea of taboo subjects? Politics was first on the list, along with religion and either sex or money, depending on who you ask. (Or money for sex, or sex for money, or something.)
But here’s the thing. When we get home, that’s when we’re at risk. We’re in our comfort zone, with our tools around us – the television, the mobile, the laptop, the tablet, the desktop. All connected devices, talking to the world via wifi or wired connections. The problem is, that’s all it is: talk. Gossip. Water cooler conversation. “Trending” news. Gods, is that ever a modern concept – it’s interesting for the sole reason of the popularity of the topic; high school writ large for adults and piped straight to our brains via our eyeballs. Don’t get me wrong – I have made some wonderful friends via the internet, and would feel bereft without it. But do we really need to be reading hatred from comparative strangers? We read stuff that we wouldn’t put up with in the grocery line, much less our homes where we’re supposed to feel calm, safe, and connected with a network of family, friends, and civic or religious groups.
I wrote in my previous post about the importance of distinguishing between vital and urgent. And again, I want to encourage first myself in shutting off the inflow. If that feels to draconian, then why not try curfew hours, the way we do with our younger kids and television watching? After 7:00 P.M., the television went off when I was little. I remember when I got to stay up watching something until 8:00, and how exciting that was. But now, I am sometimes on social media past 11:30 at night, or 10:30, or midnight – and I set my morning alarm for 05:00. That’s goofy, Dear Reader. I can’t be expected to get a good night’s sleep without, well, actually sleeping.
So if you, like me, are experiencing too much noise in your daily round, examine the source. Are you sticking your head in the echo chamber too often or without even being aware that you’re doing it? (I recently lost 90 minutes to social media without hardly blinking – and it wasn’t 90 minutes I’d wanted to spend wandering around the interwebs!) We all have better things to do with our time. I’m sure if we give ourselves a chance, we can come up with five things to do that aren’t surfing. Knit my new shawl, put buttons on the red blouse, write my blog posts, take a bath, play with my kitten… Maybe read a good Noon & Wilder book! (See how I did that? ~grin~)
I challenge you, Dear Reader, to try it for a week. Pick a curfew time by which you’ll be off social media, or better yet pick an allotment of time that you’ll allow yourself – and set a timer to keep yourself accountable. See how you feel after a few days.
Heck, you might even find yourself connecting with friends, trying a new or neglected craft, or even just enjoying this lovely earth on which we live.
Wouldn’t that be nice?
– E.E. Cummings
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