Jessie: In New Hampshire where the snow has melted sufficiently to expose cheerful clumps of daffodils.
I’ve been thinking a great deal lately about technology and social media. With all that has been on the news about privacy violations and data scraping I have been finding myself looking at my usual social media haunts with a jaundiced eye.
I find that I am taking more note of how many times in a day I feel tempted to check for new posts by friends and people whose photos or whose lenses on the world interest me. I feel hesitant to follow through on that urge and I have to wonder if that is an unexpected bonus to come out of all the mess unfolding on the public stage.
At first I felt a little fidgety perhaps from the lack of dopamine hits flooding my brain mulitple times each day. Then, as I got more accustomed to leaving those social media sites well enough alone I found a whole lot of quiet in my own mind. I was hearing myself think very clearly and it felt rather marvelous.
I also started using those spare moments of time waiting in the car to pick up my son or while in the orthodontist’s office for something other than checking my Instagram feed. I tucked a book of short stories by Agatha Christie into a pocket in my purse and have been enjoying it in those short chunks of time ever since.
In a world full of clamor and so much to navigate I have been inordinately soothed by returning to my roots. I feel a bit like I have discovered my own fountain of youth. When I was a child I was never without a book in a pocket or a bag available to sneak out and devour whenever given the smallest of chances.
So, my unsolicited recommendation is this: if you are finding the world loud, rotten or overwhelming turn to the solace a book of short stories can provide. They have the benefit of fitting into spare moments of time but rather than leaving you feeling like you have wasted your day they transport you to another time or place. Like me you might just feel richer for the experience.
Readers, do you love short stories? Have you felt the need at any point to reduce the amount of time you spend on social media platforms?
I enjoy short stories and usually have a book of those to check into between novels…also a book of poems to do the same. Tight now I have one by Sarah Kay who I also like to warch on YouTube.
Glad to hear it, Jessie. I resist the siren call of social media by using a flip phone. It only makes phone calls. I use maps or a GPS unit to find my way. As a kid with an hour long bus ride each way, I used every minute to devour books or if I got a window seat watch the environment change. I keep volumes of short stories handy in my bag so that even a delay in the grocery line becomes an opportunity to escape. Instead of fretting about a price check or fumble for payment or extra coupons, I read a few pages. Before you know it, they’re done and it’s my turn.