Going friendless

Going friendless {temporarily}

goodbye facebook - Going friendlessSocial media and other technological communication apparatuses have made people more “in touch” than ever with the rest of the world. Whether it’s shouting on your online soapbox, or “connecting” with people for microseconds a day – not much “airtime” has been given to the concept of essentially “going friendless” – at least for a period of time.

Going friendless is a concept we came up with on our own. If something similar exists – it’s because other people have also explored this option.

You might want to call it a “cleansing” process that could very well be required due to today’s overabundance of contact and information. Others would label it a “RESET.”

To many – it would represent a cataclysmic shift in their day-to-day routine. Some people, like us, would say “so what? If the benefits are there… why not at least explore the possibilities?”

Why? Would that ruin our lives?

You ask 100 or 1,000 people on their way to the PATH station in the morning if they would “disconnect” from their digital lives (primarily ANY and ALL social media), and I’d guess that AT LEAST 90% – probably more), would be unwilling to do so.

Because for the past (how many ever years… as little as two, as many as 15), they’ve been in a “routine,” which has become their precise life.

  • Checking social timelines
  • Engaging in all sorts of conversation and actions (likes, etc.)
  • Swiping up and down in many online universes
  • Becoming accustomed to sharing, voting, reviewing, documenting – almost EVERY aspect of their lives (meals, trips, etc.) That is a good example of “gamification.”

Their digital life has given them a (digital) identity in what is actually an analog world. They have virtual “tentacles” plugged into them – that are hard to unplug.

And if they DO get (involuntarily) unplugged – such as in instances of widespread long-term power outages like in Hurricane Sandy – they become distraught.

Sandy was in 2012. Imagine that happening in 2017? The problems would be exponentially WORSE! It would actually ruin (mentally) people’s lives. Short term at least. Not deadly – but as close to intolerable as you can imagine without bloodshed or death.

More reason to explore what all of “this” means to you.

who needs friends - Going friendless

Gotta love these great friends, right?

What are friends, exactly?

Around 20 years ago, friends were quite different. Most people had FAR FEWER “friends.” Sure, you’d have many acquaintances (via workplace, social environs like bars, shops, etcetera). But typically you’d be hard pressed to have more than a dozen real friends. Maybe less than five really close friends. That’s how things worked back in the day.

And most of your interactions were direct and personal. Like meeting up. Or chatting on the phone. Or even writing letters (for long-distance friends). Time was spent wisely. And more time meant more interaction. More observation. More thinking. As some would put it – “more statistical data” or something like that. You built foundations. Less judgment and knee-jerking, and more experience. Not sure many of you can comprehend what that means.

But it really meant a lot – when compared to the quick-hitting micro-relationships and interactions people have these days.

Along with the dying attention span.

Your number one friend?

Who is your number one friend? Or critic? Or confidant? Or voice?

love yourself - Going friendlessIt should permanently (always) be YOU.

Too many people today (in our observations) – actually RELY on the acceptance of others – to direct their lives.

Too many people ask others what their opinions are – instead of just doing what feels right to them – without the need for external qualification.

My opinion is – that a majority of people are at the whim of the hive mind. Or the herd.

And over time – that hive or herd begins to shape them without them even realizing it.

I’ve seen people change from individualist to socialists in short order. Or go from liberty-loving to becoming government-loving almost overnight. You think that’s because they did hard research? Or just became victim to the herd mentality? I’d suggest the latter.

You don’t need herd approval for your happiness. Which is why “disconnecting” from that sham of a “herd” might benefit you in more ways than one.

What if?

What if you almost completely disconnected? Other than your one, two, or three closest friends? For 90 days? For a year?

What would happen?

How would your life change?

What would going friendless accomplish?

Well – it can accomplish many things. Whether you’re single (alone) or with a mate – and even a family.

It would give you time to focus on YOU. Yourself. Your own energy, passion, and feelings. Almost uninterrupted.

You’ll soon realize that you were perpetually influenced by others (good or bad – doesn’t matter much).

When you understand how much of a (virtual) puppet you were before – you’ll realize how amazing it was to go back to being yourself.

Now I understand that some strong(er) individuals may have a different approach. Strong people often lead themselves, even amidst a social herd.

But that social herd still plays a role. Like artificially enhancing their ego and self-worth (especially those with many followers who are akin to groupies who blindly tag along). It can have a long-term detrimental affect. Think about it.

But the main effects (benefits) of going friendless (online at least) are profound. Clarity and focus.

Distancing yourself from external influences

All your “friends” who update and post on your timeline – are similar to reading a newsfeed. Or any other continually updated “stream” of external information. It affects you. Maybe not materially or physically – but always MENTALLY.

external influences - Going friendlessThis is why I NEVER bring a phone or data device to the bedroom. I don’t want to be affected by a “feed” of stuff. I want to be in my OWN mind. My own ideas. Or whatever thoughts that cross my mind when in bed.

The number of people I know who both swipe their phones before bed – and first thing waking up – is astonishing.

It’s like their crack cocaine. Their addiction. Cannot put it down.

I’m free of that ghetto drug. I live in my own personal world – until I give it a small window of time during the day. Which is fine – because I have it under control.

Counterpoint: But what if I didn’t know what I know now?

I’ll give this “what if” a moment as well.

There are plenty of examples that people could share with me – how “knowing” what they now know (because of social media) – improved their lives in some way.

I cannot argue with this. Here are some examples I can come up with:

  • I found out about a free Ben & Jerry’s scoop of ice cream. Yay for me!
  • A celebrity was going to be near us with a pop-up demonstration. I got a selfie with them in the photo. Yay for me!
  • Patagonia had a special “one-day” coupon for 20% off! I bought a coat I didn’t necessarily need. But I “saved!” Yay for me! Haha for you!

I could go on. See how there is a pattern. These tidbits of “victories” are both psychological – and benefit others most of the time. Either with publicity or added sales.

You were not the “exclusive” recipient of knowledge that an asteroid was about to strike your area – and thus you were able to escape the traffic jam. It never results in human being benefits. It’s most often for the benefit of others. And most likely financial.

Be a cog in the machine – or not

As these rapidly expanding social networks make further progress at destroying what was once a wonderful human being culture – I guess most of you have to truly look in the mirror.

cog in the machine - Going friendlessAnd not just whether you “look good as” that other popular person.

But at yourself.

What are you doing? What are you contributing (and not charity crap or other fake virtue signaling garbage.)

Do you have skills?

Are you perpetuating a bigger narrative or machination?

Or are you forging your own natural path?

Are you controlled – or are you independent?

Are you mainstream – or are you alternative?

A lot of questions – and a lot for you to think about.

PS – don’t just accept what is new and popular without thinking about it beyond the surface. That will help you a lot. The first question should always be “CUI BONO?”

Have a nice day!

going friendless in Hoboken NJ social media reset - Going friendless

You may also like...

1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Friday, May 5, 2017 10:02 pm

I took the day off today and visited my parents in suburban NJ. We went food shopping around the time a local school let out. We witnessed many packs of early teen kids walking home from school. All of them were heads down on their cell phones laughing about what they were looking at. Talking over one another. Hardly anyone making eye contact.

That disturbed me. Even though I see it all the time in Hoboken the fact that ordinary kids are so heavily connected to the gadget world was astounding. The power it has.

I cannot imagine that any of those kids would ever understand why they might benefit from disengaging. They know nothing else.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x