Friends, do you suffer from Facebook fatigue? LinkedIn lassitude? Twitter torpor? No longer gaga for Google+? Lost your infatuation for foursquare? Does social media seem mundane? Dare I say it, moribund?
Then I’ve got the cure for you. Try reading a book! Yes, those rectangular-shaped things with the thin sheets of printed paper.
The French have many words for the weariness I have felt of late for social media, and tedium and ennui are two that come to mind. Tedium is when you get bored because you keep doing the same thing over and over, the monotony of repetition. Ennui is listlessness and dissatisfaction from lack of excitement, a kind of world-weariness.
Call it languor, lethargy, apathy or any other (origin: Old French) word you can think of, but social media just doesn’t do it for me these days. Maybe it’s the nice weather. I’d rather be out pulling weeds in my garden, yes pulling weeds, than worrying about whether someone has tagged me in a photo, retweeted my tweet or “checked in” to a local restaurant or movie theater.
I guess it was just a matter of time before I discovered that if you are not very social to begin with, social media isn’t going to change you. I’ve valiantly tweeted, added LinkedIn connections and “liked” Facebook posts, but it never seems I am tweeting, linking or posting enough.
I’d like to see a study (maybe one has been done) of how much time introverts spend on Facebook or Twitter compared to extroverts. From what I have observed, the same people who are extroverts in “real life” are extroverts on social media. They are the ones constantly tweeting and posting and building a war chest of connections. Does anyone remember the Rolodex? The same people who had two fat Rolodexes on their desk are the same people who have 500+ LinkedIn connections.
Now blogging, that’s a different story. A blog appeals to me because it is (or can be) intensely personal yet at the same time social. I don’t tire of blogging like I do with other social media. It’s more like journaling. More authentic? For me, yes.
Okay, I am not done with social media yet, just taking a short rant break. After all, I am a PR guy, and social media is a powerful communications channel that can’t be ignored. Call it a summer swoon. Maybe that’s what happened to Facebook’s IPO, too. So in the near future I will write a more positive post: “Five ways to recover from Facebook fatigue.” I promise.
Remembering Ray Bradbury
And speaking of reading a book, you can’t go wrong with one of Ray Bradbury’s classic novels or collections of short stories. News of his death brought back memories of my boyhood when I would voraciously read Bradbury, Asimov, Heinlein, Vonnegut and any book I could get my hands on about science. Much has been written about Bradbury’s dystopian novel “Fahrenheit 451,” but I was always fond of his short stories.
Pegged as a science-fiction writer, Bradbury was more than anything a master storyteller of the strange and wonderful. “The Martian Chronicles” may have been set on Mars, but the stories were fundamentally about the human condition. “The Illustrated Man,” “Something Wicked This Way Comes”—I couldn’t get enough of this guy.
My favorite was “Dandelion Wine,” his vignettes about a 12-year-old boy growing up in a small town. I highly recommend it as an antidote to your Facebook fatigue!