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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Trending...

Good morning, folks!

So, last night on Twitter the hashtag #confessyourunpopularopinion was trending. For those of you who do not tweet, this means that people would add this hashtag at the end of whatever they were saying. This is so that when someone clicks on that hashtag, they see every tweet that has ever been sent out using that hashtag. It can be a way to discuss issues or gripe about something or share a fandom moment. Last night, it was just something silly to do.
(WARNING: Profanity ahead. Sorry. It was my only trend tweet last night, though!)



So why was it trending? How did it get so popular? 


My theory is that we like to be distracted, in any way possible at times. Otherwise, Twitter and Instagram and Facebook wouldn't even exist, right? For many people, it's a way to connect to others and it's a way to step out of your own life for a while. Rather like reading a book or movie, except in shorter bursts.





But why start silly trends like these on Twitter? I mean, there's so much distraction anyway. And is it just good fun, or is it avoidance? For me, it always starts as just a fun thing to do. I never say to myself, "Boy, this sure would be a great way to suck up three hours of my time, so I don't have to write/wash clothes/study." But inevitably, it turns into a night of unproductivity. (Yes, that's a word. I just used it, didn't I?) I can't speak for anyone but me, but I've had to limit myself with activities such as these, otherwise, I'd never get anything done. After all, something is always trending on Twitter!


When I was younger (Before the Internet. Shut up.), I would read all the time. It was how I took myself out of my reality, lost the stress or worry of my day, how I traveled to new lands or experienced a life that wasn't mine. I still do that, although I find it harder now to totally immerse myself in a book, and I blame becoming a writer for that. Imagine cooking hamburgers for a living and going out one night for dinner with some friends, and ordering a hamburger. You wouldn't be able to stop yourself from critiquing and studying it. 

This hamburger isn't as juicy as mine, but it does have this lovely cheese, and oh! Are those pickles? I love pickles.

You see what I'm saying. That's why I tend to watch TV or movies, or hop on social media, for brain relaxation time. It's hard to chill while analyzing stuff. And as the world seems to become busier and busier, and everything is being hooked into the Great Wide Internet (Scary! Hello, Matrix.), I wonder how many people have switched their habits up like I did. It would make an interesting study in twenty years, anyway. ;)



How about you? Do you use social media as a way to connect or as a distraction? If you don't use it much at all, what are your favorite distractions? And how do you limit yourself, so you don't get carried away?
 

11 comments:

  1. I use social media to both connect and as a distraction. That said my favorite distraction is reading, I just read until I'm either sleeping or have to go do something else.

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  2. Sometimes I use it for distraction. My favorite is Facebook. I usually allow myself a short time to pop over to post, check comments, and read others' updates then I have to go. Otherwise I would be more stressed out about the things on my to-do list, then I can't sleep at night. Seriously, when I have a long list of things to do, my sleep suffers because I tend to be a worrier.

    My favorite distraction is TV. It's pretty mindless. LOL

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  3. I'm on FB all the time, running in the background as I write. I interact a lot with my fans. I'm a BIG multi-tasker, so I can't just do one thing. When I get stumped on a scene, I check my FB and emails. :) They get away from me otherwise. :)

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  4. I used to be a big Facebook fan too! Now it's mostly Twitter. Judging by my feed, the few times I pop in, Pinterest seems to be a big "distraction" for many people, lol.
    I'm a big TV watcher, for sure. It's so easy to be entertained and not have to think. *G*

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  5. I hear you on the hamburger analogy! Man I miss reading and not *thinking* as I do it!

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  6. TV is my veg time, usually before bed. No thinking required. But I still love books as an escape, especially one with great world building that takes me out of everyday. I enjoy FB and Twitter, but it is too easy to lose yourself...just one more click!

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  7. I also find it harder to read since I started writing, but I blame that more on the internet and the pace of daily life, and the way they've knocked the hell out of my attention span! I can be LOVING a book and yet still find it hard to focus. It's like my brain is a Twitter or fb feed.

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    1. Yes! The speed of the internet and social media makes it easy to believe you're busy because your eyes/brain are consuming a lot at one time, yet all you're doing is consuming, not doing. Then my brain is overloaded from this to the point where it goes explodey trying to accomplish important things that use up lots of mental energy. Arg!

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  8. Of course I use social media to connect and distract myself from everyday life. It has been getting very difficult trying not to get on and jump around from emails to FB to sites and blogs and back around. I haven't been reading like I use too and piles of books are just sitting there waiting to for my attention.
    I'm try to limit myself now so that I can get my reading done. Quick check of everything in the morning and then leave if off till night time to check again.

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  9. I've had to limit myself on Twitter. I do my fun facts in the morning and leave Twitter and Facebook open while I check email. After that, I *have* to shut it down or I'll spend all day on social media. Sometimes, I check in before I go to bed and get wrapped up in it. Ugh.
    And like any writer, I have a hard time enjoying a book without critiquing it. Grrr, brain, grrr.

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  10. Twitter is a big time-suck for me.

    I sometimes forget about Facebook...oops!

    As an author (a newbie author in particular), I find myself drawn to Twitter because it seems like such an easy way to interact, whether for promotional purposes (hey, productivity!) or for discussions related to writing and to the romance genre (hey, also productivity!)...so it's sometimes hard for me to draw clear lines between what's distraction and what's beneficial for me as a writer.

    I still tend to read for recreation...but I agree that it gets weird sometimes...like I can't let myself sink into the story because I'm too aware of it as a constructed piece of writing. And ultimately, for pure distraction, I end up leaning more and more toward games like Candy Crush...they're kind of mindless and addictive (not necessarily in a good way...but there they are.).

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