Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Do I Really Need More Solitude???

In The End of Solitude, William Deresiewicz talks about how technology has taken away our privacy, concentration, and ability to be alone. Rather, he argues that it has taken away our want to ever be alone. I had a hard time reading this article because although I agree with some of his points, I love technology so much, and I felt like he was telling me that I am living my life incorrectly.

Part of me agrees with Deresiewicz when he says that technology is taking away our alone time, our oh-so-important solidity, but the other part of me--because of this technology and the culture I grew up in--doesn't want solidity. Sure it's nice to be alone at some times, but personally, I would much rather be around people, or at least feel like what I'm saying or doing is being received by others.

That's why I like social media. It gives me a voice I never really had. In my school I was my class's Vice President. (Yay student government). But our administration was so strict that whenever I (or anyone else for that matter) had an idea for an event it was shot down immediately. And if you know me, you know I have A LOT of ideas. It was always a no. Every. Single. Time.

That hurt. I was supposed to have a voice. I was elected by my peers to be their voice. And then I was denied one. Not okay. (And so I will never ever be involved in government again).

Here's an example: My friend Dustin and I (who was also involved in student government) wanted to start a Song of the Day at our school--we'd play one song at the beginning of each day right after the announcements to wake people up and put them in a better mood for their first period class. We made up a whole plan and then showed our Vice Principal, who we thought was open to new and exciting ideas (because he said so). He gave us big no.

Okay, I'm sorry for ranting about my high school administration...Now back to my point.

Contrary to what Deresiewicz believes, I'm not trying to become a celebrity. When I post a picture on Instagram, I don't think "if this doesn't get at least 40 likes, I'm going to delete it." I know some people who do think this way, but I'm not one of them. If people see it, they see it. If they don't, they don't. I just hope that by posting that picture I made at least one person smile or laugh or react in some way.

That's my personal goal when it comes to social media. I want to make people laugh. Perhaps that plays back into my biggest strength: woo. (which you can read about in one of my previous blog posts). I want to make people laugh so that they like me. I'm not trying to become famous.

So maybe I do agree with much of what Deresiewicz is saying. However, this was hard to read because I feel like I'm doing something wrong in my life. Do I need to spend more time alone? Deresiewicz feels that we need to spend more time in solitude in order to learn about ourselves. However, I learn the most about myself through my actions. I spend time alone each day for an hour at the least. And for me, that's enough. I need to be around other people to be happy. I'm a very social person. I believe that's the way I am just because. Not because technology has made me this way. With that in mind, social media helps me enjoy my life. It doesn't make it so that I'm scared of spending time alone; rather, it helps me reach more people than I ever could have imagined.

No comments:

Post a Comment