Why I Am Here…

I have relocated from another wonderful website that I just did not think was appropriate for this blog! Here is my original post with my reasons behind my blog!

A little over a month ago I had never heard of Allegory of the Cave, by Plato. It is taken from the larger work entitled The Republic. This should shame me as I am an honors student, but I digress. At first it annoyed me and so did the truth I was being told. At first I did not care for the substance of what my professor was giving us, and then it hit me like a frying pan over the head. I toyed with the idea of changing my ways, but I just embraced the lesson of the cave this week. If you have not read the allegory, I recommend you do. If you don’t get the importance of it, well you better read it again. As my professor has taught me: 36 times MIGHT be enough…maybe (probably not).

A little over a month ago I wouldn’t have dared to do what I did yesterday. Oh, yesterday will live in the history books because I totally broke a social agreement. The agreement, it seems, was to dwell among my friends on a “wall” and post my every thought, action and maybe even such things as what cereal I ate for breakfast. Now don’t get me wrong, I see the value in social-networking, like keeping in touch with long distance friends & family, but I see something else as well. Actually it is what I see and don’t see that bothers me.

What I see: people walking through the hallways, on buses, in classrooms, offices, malls (do I need to go on?) with their face down staring at their phones.

What I don’t see: casual conversation, a passing smile as you walk by people, respect in the classroom, busy people in offices….you get the point.

See, I have this constant reminder on my living room wall that says “Be the Change you wish to see in this World.” (Gandhi) Isn’t that a nice quote? I know it is. But what good is the quote if I don’t live by it? What kind of hypocrite am I??? See, for me that social network we all love became a habit for me. A bad habit. A way of life. An addiction.

I was spending more time on Facebook than I was doing other things like spending time with my amazing children and husband, cleaning, cooking, exercising, taking pictures (which I love to do), praying, putting my feet in the sand and taking in the ocean breeze, doing my homework, paying my bills. I could go on, but I think I have humbled myself enough at this point. My problem is, I know I am not the only person like this. Also, I know that people are joining in at younger ages. That in itself is dangerous.

What ever happened to talking to people face to face? Are we that busy that we can’t stop and enjoy the company of another person? Is there anything that pressing that it can’t wait until class is over? How sad is it that couples seldom (if ever) write love letters on actual paper? How annoying is it that people run their drama all over the internet but can’t seem to talk their problems out with their loved ones?

How can people find such things as Beauty, Right, Reason and Truth when their heads are always down and their minds are always closed?

They can’t, because they are in the cave and they are there by their own free will. 

And what is the point of this blog? Well, I don’t know what the outcome will be but my hope is that by being the change I really wish to see, that change will come. If it doesn’t at least I have changed.

All I know is that change may be painful, emotional, exhausting and confusing…BUT it IS Good. 

I have made it to the end of day 2 without Facebook. Let’s see if I make it through the weekend…

(Disclaimer: “The Cave” is not specifically Facebook or Twitter, it is a state of mind and a way of life. This can be represented through many things but for me it is in fact social networking.)

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8 thoughts on “Why I Am Here…

  1. I completely agree with you on the sad state of affairs out there – faces down, thumbs twitching – oblivious to the flesh and blood out there. It was just within this year I got a phone capable of internet and texting and it is addictive! I am aware of that and self limit. Thanks for signing up to follow my blog – hope you like it. Ok, I am off to get The Republic on my library book list as I have not read it and think I should. 🙂

    • Thank you so much! It is very long and I skimmed quite a bit, but the allegory of the cave really spoke to me…along with the Social Contract by Rousseau and a few others!

  2. I just had a strange thought.

    There’s that… meme I suppose.. that promotes the “If Want To Do X, then Do Y”. Perhaps that is the way to escape social networking. Maybe a list of things. Finish one, cross it off. Each time finish another, when you’re out rinse and repeat.

    I haven’t the foggiest clue whether that would work. But I think I shall try it myself now that I have vaguely constructed it. Might work for you, who knows?

    • As I have struggled to keep my social networking to a minimum I have learned it is very hard to stay away from it when its the only way to get a hold of some friends. I have found that to be pretty sad! I, of course, do not hate social networking (obviously as I am here) but I wish people used their other people skills and had self-control…speaking of myself also!

  3. I am, and have been for more years than I care to admit, a complete virtual addict. First it was chat rooms, then yahoo groups, then myspace (which I never really took to) and latterly, Facebook, Twitter and so forth. I blame some of it on my job; I work in IT so I need to be abreast of what’s going on out there in the blue nowhere, but the underlying truth of it is that I’m just more comfortable at a distance. I like interacting with people, conditionally. That being said, I think you’re right, and I don’t think it’s a good thing. Maybe I should challenge myself a little as well.
    Thanks for stopping by, and for the thought-provoking read.

    • While I am not an IT person, I completely agree. I was “online” back before AOL had a .0 … in fact I think we first used Netscape and Prodigy. So, to say I grew up online would not be too far from the truth. I also find it very comfortable, which is why I think I joined social networking. Especially after my first child, as a single mother at the time it was easier to be accepted at a distance. But now that I have my son asking for a cell phone at almost 10 years old, I am noticing the people around me who live on their phones, and more so on facebook, twitter, etc. Don’t get me wrong because I am struggling every day with it. I often wonder why I worry so much about what others say or think. I am anticipating the new semester when I once again attend a class with the professor who inspired this change. It will be nice to have her “yell” at me a bit about it! But I also want you to know what I don’t think people are terrible for their use of social networking, I just wish more people used the wonderful advances we have…in moderation! Thank you so much for following me, I look forward to also seeing your future posts!

  4. What I see: people walking through the hallways, on buses, in classrooms, offices, malls (do I need to go on?) with their face down staring at their phones.

    What I don’t see: casual conversation, a passing smile as you walk by people, respect in the classroom, busy people in offices….you get the point.

    It drives me batty, I do not own a cell phone or any new gadgets…so it ALL BOTHERS me, I am old fashioned

    • I feel that it is sad when people would rather look at their phones than enjoy the world around them-humans, nature, etc. I guess you can say I am old fashioned, too!

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