A couple days ago a social media giant, or SMG, went dark for several hours. Who knows why, but the conspiracy theorists were out in droves speculating on upcoming legal proceedings among other things.

We don’t know, maybe we never will, what happened and like any good, dramatic conspiracy theory it will be kept alive by those who believe that some elite cabal with nefarious intentions took over. With global communication and a worldwide reach for every opinion, we can jump into any story, no matter how far fetched and build an entire belief system around it. This is not to say that there is not some truth to even the most outlandish ideas.

Truth is what we make it and it seems dangerous to base one’s beliefs on a meme posted on social media. Most of them tug at emotional triggers with their words and the pictures cause feelings to well up inside. It’s ironic how each belief structure accuses the other of being brainwashed when, in fact, all sides are brainwashed and don’t realize it. I wonder if most people realize that algorithms choose what each user sees in order to garner the most interaction?

Back to the worldwide blackout. As addicted as the world is to electronic communication I wonder if there were any withdrawal symptoms. One can say I didn’t notice that’s a bunch of garbage and hate speech, then go back to watching their funny videos. “Maybe someone says “You’re always scrolling through that phone,” then turns on the television to catch up on the latest streaming platform in order to binge watch its new series.

I’m not immune from this myself. My phone gives me a report each week on how much screen time has been used on my device and, even though I use my phone for writing and related research, the social media usage tends to be quite high. I’m working on that. Reaching for the device to check and see if anyone has read or commented on my blog is almost subconscious and once inside it’s all too easy to become totally immersed.

Maybe this blackout has been a good thing. It’s caused me to reevaluate. It’s caused me to step back and focus on the here and now. That’s really all I’ve got anyway. So what if I don’t see the interactions with the blog right away? The results will be there still if I set aside a designated time to look. I still use the platform in my publishing business but that doesn’t mean that I need to be connected at all times.

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