Awaken Yourself

“Time to leave now, get out of this room, go somewhere, anywhere; sharpen this feeling of happiness and freedom, stretch your limbs, fill your eyes, be awake, wider awake, vividly awake in every sense and every pore.”

– Stefan Zweig

A Life Without Facebook

Yes, I’m one of those people.  One of those people totally addicted and enamored with the social revolution that is Facebook.  Every morning, before I even got out of bed, I would check (in this order) my corporate email, Facebook, and my personal Gmail.  Whoa – talk about a (good?) way to start the day!

I had a heart-to-heart with/from some members of the creative writing group I belong to at the college, and it was through this discussion that I determined now – the week before finals and before the new set of NY’s resolutions – that I would take a temporary leave from Facebook.
OMG, I know.
If you know me, I constantly “check in,” post photos, share links, and post statuses.  I can’t tell you the number of times I reached for my phone or the app before realizing that I didn’t need to.  It’s actually been somewhat refreshing, although it has been difficult.  I didn’t realize just how often I would conjure up captions and statuses immediately after doing something with the intention of posting them on the social media site.  At what point did Facebook essentially “take over” my life?
So, the natural question is, why did I make this choice?  Regarding that previously-mentioned heart-to-heart and realization, I decided that I needed to take some time off to evaluate what I was sharing (do people really need to know every aspect of my daily life?), why I was sharing what I was sharing (was it selfish self-promotion or insecurity?  affirmation or proselytization?), and just how much freaking time I was spending doing this mostly-mindless activity instead of doing other, more productive things with my limited time on this earth.  With the impending new year coming and finals week starting Monday, I thought now was the best time to do some reflecting and catch up on processing photos (one lady has been waiting almost two years for photos from our first trip to Europe!), posting reviews to TripAdvisor, and making my living space more organized and less cluttered.
I still haven’t decided how long I will go without Facebook, but this is the longest of my “temporary deactivations” (as FB calls them) has lasted, and I think it will be a test of my will to see how long I can go.
So, let me ask these question…  Do you feel sucked in by Facebook?  Do you think social media has changed your relationships for the positive or the negative?  What amount of sharing do you think is “normal” or “healthy”?

Food for Thought: Stupidity… or Ignorance?

I truly don’t know where my inspiration for this post came from (hello again, by the way!  Talk about a long absence!), but I found myself questioning – at 11:30 – the difference between “ignorance” and “stupidity.”

I recall asking an old supervisor (who did farming outside his normal work hours) something about farming while saying, “Sorry, I’m pretty stupid with this stuff.”  He responded, “No, you’re not stupid, just ignorant.”  I recall thinking to myself, “Oh, really?!  Did he just say that??!”  LOL

However, upon further inspection, I think this characterization makes sense.  If I don’t know anything about it, I’m ignorant, as – according to – ignorance is “lack of knowledge, learning,information, etc.,” while stupidity is well, the act of being stupid (or that’s how I’m choosing to interpret it).

So, this begs the question…  (According to one of my favorite English profs from college, most people use this phrase incorrectly, also.)  Is a person, as a whole or in regard to specific subjects, ignorant or stupid?  The easy answer is stupid, but perhaps with deeper inspection (I’m thinking politics here), they are shutting themselves out or isolating themselves from information which they could glean knowledge from, which complicates the question…  Is someone stupid…  or ignorant?

Weigh in with your comments!

New Life

New Life by Luke A. Bunker
New Life, a photo by Luke A. Bunker on Flickr.

I took this photo while visiting the concentration camp at Dachau (near Munich) in Germany this summer. This symbol of new life struck me, and I knew I wanted to capture it in a place where life seemed so distant and fleeting for so many.

I had been putting off processing and going through what I called “my Dachau pictures” because I knew I would need emotional energy to go through them. I ended up going through them this evening and found myself thinking one thing… How could we, as a world, have put up with this and let it go on for so long before doing something about it? Rather than sadness, I jumped straight to anger, which I suppose is natural. But, are we not doing the same thing today with respect to Darfur and other regions where governments are essentially exterminating their peoples?

Food for thought…