Posts Tagged ‘Electronic Addictions’

It happened.

It finally happened. This pristine virgin of social networking got screwed royally last week.

I had kept myself chaste and discreet from most manner of social media. No Facebook. No Twitter. No Pinterest.

For years, I’ve kept my virtual legs crossed and vowed never to cross the line into the worldly evil of social media. (Perhaps blogging is a gateway drug?)

But for the sake of relevance, the tide of society swept me up and catapulted me into the rude awakening that the reason my business cards weren’t garnering referrals is because I was using the wrong kind of business card.

I needed a virtual business card more than a real one.

I then promptly and unabashedly whored my professional self to LinkedIn.

Forgive me Lord, for I knew not what I didth.

In one evening I managed to create a polished profile and was up in lights.

The first round garnered me a bunch of connections which I inadvertently solicited when my gmail sent out a mass-calling to my contact list trumpeting my having joined this network. Within minutes, I had a handful of impressive connections, some of them famous, some infamous.

And it’s funny how my family members can look so different and so impressively good, seeing them how others see them.

Are these REALLY the same people I know, love and share DNA with? the ones who can belch a bow-wow and the ones who wrapped me in a sheet and threatened to send me down the laundry chute if I told Mom they were listening to Cheech & Chong?

The professional profiles of these buffoons include big titles like “CFO” “Senior VP” and “Executive Director.”

Soon, a bunch of other connections rolled in. Mucky-mucks, coworkers, neighbors and friends. And, yes, former sweethearts.




I bumped into one of my (friend) connections at an event this week and he laughed when I said, “Geez, where have I BEEN?” Lurking in the blogosphere all this time, I suppose. He commented that he thinks of LinkedIn as a professionals’ Facebook.

The second-worst part of joining was having a connection request that, if I accepted, would likely make many of my connections think twice about me and my character.

And the worst part was the epiphany that perhaps I, too, was capable of causing someone else discomfort in feeling obligated to connect. So in the spirit of Jesus hanging out with the tax collectors and sinners, I connected.

Thus the Happy Stalker in me spent endless hours this week perusing the universe of links. Like a dog in a bacon factory, I went bananas.

The connections keep rolling in, much to my amazement. All kinds of stuff I never knew. One classmate is now a big shot publisher in NYC. A high school sweetheart I thought would never speak to me again, is speaking. Kings in the ivory tower at work whom I thought didn’t even know I existed, are connected – and patting me on the back for joining the virtual rat race.

I was majorly Sucked In.

The biggest problem was the process of getting SuckedIn resulted in a few days of my children seeing their mother with glazed eyes, waving them off to do their homework on their own and to consume bottomless bowls of Lucky Charms, ice cream and God knows what else while Mom was SuckedIn.

The mighty herdsman neglects his herd, absorbed in the mysterious gadget the gods dropped from the sky.

But now, six days later, I realize why there is an entire generation of children coming into the world who do not know what good, old-fashioned connecting is. And what it means to REALLY connect. And why there may be so many psychiatric issues in children.

And why many children today think as much, if not more, of looking into the glow of the screen as they do into the eyes of their loving parents – and confuse the two.

Parents and children are distracting themselves with electronic diversions. In order to satisfy their electronic addictions, they unwittingly encourage their children to absorb themselves in electronic diversions, as well.

We can do better than this, can’t we?

Autism has a characteristic of solitary and/or parallel play in which individuals may be in the same room but not necessarily relating to each other. This is the opposite of reciprocal play in which it takes two to tango.

Are we turning into a society of parallel play? Operating in a world of our own electronic making, a virtual society with only necessary human contact?

These kids might learn as much, if not more, by playing with each other. And with a human adult’s direct help.

People don’t pay much attention to business cards anymore. I am now more relevant if I hide behind my laptop, my blog, my website, and reach out to the universe a block or a mile or a country away, via the keyboard. This is the natural byproduct of becoming a global society.

There is hope for those SuckedIn.

The irony is, my business is counseling, teaching people to relate, face to face – a basic component in humanity which seems a click away from being as obsolete as exchanging a business card and a handshake.

Thanks, God, for fellowship of all kinds, but especially for those which connect us to You.

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