I have noticed an interesting trend in the last couple of years…people are becoming less attached to social media. I can’t give you a statistic, just an observation from life. I look at my boys, who did not grow up in the United States, but upon our return, jumped on the digital bandwagon mainly to keep up with friends around the world.
That’s why I’m on Facebook — it’s my mother-hen need to keep up with everyone’s life, even if I haven’t seen you in 20 years. But the mother hen is tired of trying to keep the chicks in the pen. They are scattering all over the place in likes, beliefs, preferences, political views, and lifestyles. What’s a mother to do? Stop looking at your posts.
As my boys have grown, they’re also much less active online and very reserved in what they even bother to follow or like. We do a lot of private sharing and commenting. It’s nobody else’s business anyway. We’ll just keep it in the family.
I grew up with four television stations. We got our news of the world through a very selective lens…as did the rest of America. Not now. You can have “news” in any flavor you want. When I first came back to the States, I watched multiple news outlets. I’ve been a confessed news junkie for years (I blame my parents), and I worked to get as much information on especially international news as I could.
Then it happened.
I found myself angry at one station due to a certain bias that did not, in my opinion, line up with either the truth or my views on a particular subject. I couldn’t allow myself to listen any more to what I saw as blatant error in reporting. I slowly migrated to one or two stations or news sources. The change changed me.
When I moved into my new condo, I made the decision not to get cable. Why get TV if you couldn’t stand to listen to what they said. I could pick and choose news online, but I was still in my selective mode of viewing and listening. I have seen news become more commentary and less statement of fact. It’s exhausting to have to wade through talk to figure out exactly what happened.
Then there were the Olympics. I realized I couldn’t even watch them without paying, but my brother reminded me about an old faithful method from our past — rabbit ears. I bought some at Walmart and came home only to find that I couldn’t even get the original four stations, as only two seemed to like my area. Yet, there were other channels that had old TV shows, that sounded familiar and comforting. I didn’t really care about the Olympics anyway–even they had become political and not fun.
I can stay with my rabbit ears and “comfort TV”, but what happens when real news does happen? Do I just ignore it and stick my head in the sand? No, I’ve come to an agreement with myself just this week — I will listen to the headlines and learn the facts of the issue, but I will turn off the commentary and supplemental stories.
It doesn’t mean I don’t care, because I can learn of a news event like the tragedy in Florida, and with the facts of the news, turn to prayer for those involved and for decisions that may need to be made for the future. I can do something positive to help those affected or better my own community as a result of what I’ve learned.
I can do that without the extra commentary. I’m done with it, whether it’s on the news, the internet, on Facebook or Twitter. If someone wants to know my opinion about what’s happened, they can send me a text, FB message, email or even a handwritten letter. Our world is drowning in commentary.
Now, I realize that if you made it to the end of this long blog, you’re thinking…”she does realize she’s commenting on something, right?” Yes, I’m a writer, after all. Words are important. I’m just choosing to use those that will build others up, not tear down or confuse.
What will happen to our society? I think while a good many people will withdraw from the ruckus, as I am attempting to do, the avenues of media will become more and more like mere babel — with no one making sense in the end.
If you follow Jesus, be in prayer over this issue. Satan wants to distract you with the noise. Don’t let him. Adjust your own personal ears to that which God would have you hear and nothing more. I’m going to work on it. What about you?
Grace and Peace