Monday, November 28, 2011

Step away from the computer

Students from my NYU writing class continue to Occupy Brandsinger. Today's guest blogger, Malorie Ginsberg, writes of her struggle with an overabundance of digital friends.

Have you ever wanted to take your computer and your cell-phone and throw it out the window? I do. I do all the time. It's as if these small inanimate objects are a jail cell keeping me locked up without any hope of freedom. I am not one of those people who have their fingers glued to a keyboard at all times. But, I am a person who is kept on a tight leash by their electronics.

In many ways, cell-phones and social media have made us more accessible, more exposed and more alone. Is it normal that I have six hundred fifty friends on Facebook? Yes, I am a product of the digital age. Everyone is who is anyone is on Facebook and I NEED to be friends with every person I have ever given a head nod to in passing in order to fill my popularity quota in social networking.

In truth, it is not normal that six hundred and fifty of my “closest” friends have access to my pictures, thoughts and comments. Social media is a great tool for business. However, I feel it is making us less social and more stalker-like. Is it really necessary for me to know that you checked in on Facebook at John's House, Applebee's and the movies? I mean I guess it is if I'm planning on robbing your house. I know you're not home.

I am not preaching for everyone to retreat into an Amish way of life, but I am asking you to reflect on how technology dictates and manipulates you. For those of you who text message, you can probably sympathize with the anxiety I feel thirty seconds after I hit send. It usually is something along the lines of why haven't they responded yet? Maybe I shouldn't have said that? Sometimes we all need to take a chill pill.

Cinderella didn't text message Prince Charming
wanting to know his every move. So, a word to the wise: put your cell-phone down, walk away from your computer and disconnect for at least an hour every day. You'll be surprised by how liberated you will feel.

Malorie Ginsberg is a Brooklyn native with a passion for music and the arts. Currently, she is pursuing her Masters in Public Relations and Corporate Communication at NYU.


Anonymous said...

But now that we've opened Pandora's Box, wouldn't you agree that the instantaneous nature of interpersonal communications is now the norm? Perhaps taking an hour off can still go unnoticed, but how about a day? Two days? A week? How can someone truly disconnect these days without friends and family imagining the worst, sending out a posse, or searching the obituaries?

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