Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Experimental Success

"Ask me anything and I'll do it", I said.

Hug me, cook for me, make a video reading my book, don't post on Facebook for a week.

"Wait, what?"...

And there it was. The beginning of an experiment of sorts.

Most people know I'm effectively an attention seeker. Look at me, laugh at me, pay me some attention. I often say "I like the sound of my own voice", but I probably just like the fact that someone is listening.

Shut up Morpheus!

So as much as I post on FB to entertain or have the occasional rant about shitty politics or irritating (in my opinion) goings on, I know there's a chunk of me doing it for the attention aspect.

It's no different to posting your wine or a cat, or both.

Love me, love my wine.
So with this knowledge in hand, I accepted the challenge and agreed to not post or like for a week.
Seven days was not a long time, although when waiting for the next episode of Game of Thrones, it feels like an eternity.

See you next year suckers!
and

Cork it mini-me

So the journey began, but I wasn't climbing Everest here, this was not a significant event nor should it have been particularly difficult.

Everyone's favourite balding Psychologist, Dr Phil, once said "You don't break a habit, you replace a habit.", and sure he probably wasn't the first person to present that gem, but I was watching him when he said it, so shut up cos the statement is correct.

I stopped posting and liking, but I did speak to people one on one a lot more.

It was at this stage that I realised that you get a lot more out of a one to one conversation that you do from encouraging one liners from your hilarious friends after making a semi-regular self-deprecating post.

My friends are interesting. They all have actual lives going on behind the facebook posts and replies, and I am lucky enough to be part of their lives at differing levels, but it is clear that if you want to know what is going on in someone's life and engage with them on a more than superficial level, you have to actually speak to them.

Make it so!
I try to be social. I like people, I like having them around me and I like talking with them. I'm not nosy (usually) but I like to talk and listen.

My teachers in school would always tell me to stop talking, even though I would then start talking with them, which still got me what I wanted...attention, information, understanding, but kind of missed the point.

I talk a lot, I CAN help it, but I choose to talk because it gets the engagement with my friends happening. I know I get excited and fill pauses and blank space with my version of white noise (Mike noise), but I know why I do that and it's now not just for the attention, as hard as that may be to accept.

Recently I have had it made quite clear to me that not everyone is like me.

Pfft.
Not everyone is loud, opinionated or happy to socialise their whole life. Not everyone responds immediately, not everyone is waiting for your next comment, sometimes it's nice to listen or just shut up and have some silence.

The week away from Facebook did feel a little bit like watching the world go by around you, but I soon realised that Facebook  isn't actually the world, it's a window to a room into which we throw occasional morsels of news or cat photos.

Somebody press LIKE dammit!
So the experiment was a success.
I remembered that Facebook is about the noise and not the people making the noise, and the best way to combat this is to actually engage with the people making the noise.

Not on a wall.
Not with a like.
With a message just for them, or a phone call, or a lunch catch-up, or a movie day, or anything at all that shows you are thinking about them in a way other than a cat or a bottle of wine or a Star Wars figure.

I'm not superficial.
And neither are you.

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