Sunday, November 27, 2016

Living In A Cave

It seems this is the season for retiring from social interaction. Of course it is the holiday season so you have to put up with close family and friends but after a long and divisive electoral campaign, many are retreating into their caves.
As the temperatures get colder the fall burst of color is now becoming burnt umber and soon the wooden fingers pointing to the sky will sleep until spring. The smart ones have either flown to warmer climates or hibernated but the rest of us must endure the frost, snow, and try to find something to entertain our minds in the grey days and longer nights.
Distressed by all the unpleasant and sometime rude comments by ‘friends’ on social media, many of us have uncluttered our contact list. Like changing our closets from the sweat stained t-shirts and ratty shorts of summer to the snuggly fleece and sweaters of winter, the digital conversation is also changing.
Like daylight saving time is a reminder to change the battery in your smoke alarm, the winter season is a good time to uncluttered your emotions. A long Christmas card list to strangers may be necessary to network and a large gathering at Thanksgiving to a one-time-a-year celebration of strangers makes the stress of the holidays as tough as the barrage of social media nonsense.
Work hard trying to find that perfect gift for your neighbors or friends that will soon show up on eBay while trying to decide ‘why?’ they are worth the cost. Traditions of following the past but adding the constant checking social media in a chance someone might post something you have to know at that very moment in time and even more pressure to respond to.
Is it just a waste of time?
If you call that person or even more intimately sit face-to-face with another, how long can the conversation go on until it becomes boring? Is it the same for all the cute babies and puppies and sentimental selfies that we constantly scroll through?
Like turning off the lights when we are not in the room, is this a conversational conservation or a trend? As the ‘new’ president makes his commitment to the country I think I know who is ‘us’ and who is ‘them’. Are we becoming aware that all the news is not real and no photo can be believed and anyone can write anything on this gigantic chat room called the Internet? And the kids are basing their values and morals on what they see on their phone rather than what they get emailed from their parents. Can they make intelligent decisions with emojis?
Perhaps this is a good time to retreat into a cave for self-preservation? Whatever the reason it is a good time to start a new year with some different priorities. Attend a poetry reading, discuss a book with the author or write your own, take your partner dancing, learn to play an instrument, take a college class or many other variations can change our 2017 routine.

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