My Digital World

My Digital World

(Just relized my last two Distractions didn't post on the site, so this is 11.22 and I'm looking for the week before!)

The other day I was taking stock of my footprint in the digital world. In some ways in that world I am a true dinosaur: I use a flip phone. I can receive ordinary text messages and can respond, though it takes me a while to type my responses. I have a GPS unit in the car which works pretty well if Diane and I need to find a place we haven’t been to before. I am on the Internet every day. I do not have a twitter account…actually that’s not exactly true; I do have a twitter account I’m told, but I don’t know how to access it or post a clever remark. I have no Instagram, Snapchat or other social media sharing accounts that I am aware of, except of course my Facebook account and email accounts.

Facebook has proven to be a blessing and a curse. I have 998 friends on Facebook as of this writing. That’s 998 people I have known and now have a way to keep in touch with…sort of…. There are friends I went to high school with in Mansfield, Ohio as well as a site which notifies us when class members pass away. I have friends who worked with and for me during the summers I lived in Mansfield as well as classmates from the colleges I attended: University of Cincinnati, the Ohio State University (Mansfield Campus), Bluffton College/University, Vanderbilt University Divinity School, and Lexington Theological Seminary. Folks from churches where I have been a member are friends: FCC, Mansfield; Vine Street Christian Church, Nashville; FCC Knoxville; and JCC, Jeffersontown! Colleagues from across the US, and relatives from Ohio to South Carolina fill out my list.

I’m telling you this because this has been a blessing, indeed. The curse comes from having enough time to keep up with so many folks. Facebook recognizes this and tries to help by cycling my friends through my news feed, meaning I see a limited number of my friends’ posts on any given day. Coupled with the time limits I put on myself for surfing the Internet or looking at Facebook, I find myself not keeping up so well. I very often miss big events and the related photos from people’s lives. So I don’t always respond to posts, due to the fact I likely never saw them. And that is a sad reality for which there is no clear remedy.

The other part of the curse is reading posts by friends which are filled with volatile, hateful and disrespectful words. I did not defriend anyone because of their political views during the recent campaigns. I did delete some of their posts from my personal news feed, but friends are friends. I don’t know what the future holds for us as a result of the elections on November 8, 2016, none of us do. So, I hope that old friends will continue to be friends and that we will all make new friends in the coming year.