Friday, January 17, 2014

Why is it so hard to say goodbye?

Saying goodbye to something or someone you depend on for security, look to for entertainment, or even rely on to cheer you up when you are down is not an easy task. Every relationship we have with things ranging from cars to phones to family, has its blessings and hardships. There is no relationship that doesn't put its stress on you in demand for comfort and compassion of their problems. This stress can come in the form of giving a shoulder to cry on to getting your car a new air filter or oil change. 

The relationship that we have created with social networking is different.

I do not think we are dependent on our relationship with Facebook like we are dependent on our mothers, brothers, or automobiles. We do not need these social network relationships to get through our daily task or make ends meet. 

We are addicted to their interaction. 

We are addicted to the irrelevant posts, pictures, and videos that entertain us. 

trent mozingo, chiropractor columbus
This addiction is no different than the addiction to cigarettes or alcohol. We all know that nicotine is dangerous, and will only cause us harm in the long run, but yet the addiction remains. You forget about the negative effects of cigarettes because you are only fixated on the benefit. The relaxation of smoking, the oral fixation of smoking, the activity that gives you something to do on you 15 minute break from work. Not a single person is unaware of the negative effects of alcohol on the body. Everyone that drinks knows that there are no health benefits to alcohol, only liver damage, but yet, they continue to drink just to get the buzz, or numb the mind of the situations around them.

Just like all addictions, the addiction to social networks has minimal benefit to us in a societal setting. We are addicted to the news feed about what everyone that we know, and even some people that we don't, are doing. We have become satisfied and feel superior when someone we know are losing their hair, or their cars are not as nice, or are participating in activities that we feel like we are "above". All of this social media information may seem like it gives you a high similar to alcohol, but we have neglected to analyze the negative effects of this constant contact has on the stress levels or adrenal function in the body. 

The adrenal gland produces a hormone called Cortisol in response to stress. Stress can come in three forms, emotional, physical or chemical. The most crucial to the adrenal gland, and Cortisol levels is emotional stress.. If you are in constant contact, and you find your mood or demeanor affected by the drama that you read on social networks, you should be careful. Adrenal Fatigue is the primary step in developing thyroid dysfunction, hormone imbalances, and chronic fatigue syndrome. 

Addictions are hard to break. You develop neural pathways in the brain that only the thing you are addicted to can satisfy. Your body can be addicted to emotional stress and seek it to satisfy your desire to feel superior. The real time effects of using social media to make you feel better about yourself will never leave you in a better place at the end of the day, just like a White Russian will not help your health at the end of the day. 

Do not get me wrong, there are some healthy and beneficial things that can come from social media interactions. A Screwdriver mix drink has orange juice in it, right? You just need to figure out if you are at a level of unhealthy addiction to it.

If you find your mood change when you read the posts. If you find yourself losing touch of the personal interactions around you because you are plugged in. If you notice that most of your conversations are digital, it could be time to take a step back.

Using social media can be healthy, but you need to be sure you don't get to a point of unhealthy addiction. Make sure you spend more time each day with one on one interactions instead of digital interactions.

The feeling of freedom
I have been unplugged for almost a week. This is an image of my phone disconnecting from Facebook. Ironically, I still receive emails from Facebook that let me know how many friend requests I have, how many notifications, or even that someone poked me since I last logged in. (I didn't know you could still poke) Facebook is trying to keep me connected, which is just another reason that disconnecting is just so difficult.

Some say that considering I read this email means I am still connected, and in some ways I agree. But the truest feeling of freedom is being able to know that I have friend requests, I have been poked, I have 24 new messages, and I really don't care who they are from, or what they say. The people that truly want to talk to me still do, they just cannot use social media to do so. A friend request on Facebook does not mean I gained a new friend to me, it means someone is interested in seeing what I am doing or trying to show me what they are doing without making the effort to actually see me. 

I have constantly told myself that I need Facebook for my business.

To some extent, this is true. It is a great place to market the great results we get a New-Start Health Center. This is the hardest part of disconnecting. I know there are ways to keep a business account active without logging into my personal account, but I haven't figured it out yet.

For the last week, I have thoroughly enjoyed the freedom of not knowing what everyone is up to, what they like, or where they are checked in. It is the truest form of "Ignorance is Bliss!" 

Friday, January 10, 2014

It's Time for Me to Pull the Plug, and Say Goodbye...

I have grown up in the age of the development of constant contact and a world where no conversation can die. No matter how bad it wants you to let it go, how bad it wants to rest in a place more peaceful. Instead, it goes on, tied to a machine with any piece of life pumped into it.  Meaningless ongoing conversations have so many mediums to be transmitted that we never really take a chance to pull the plug and let them die.
I feel like over the last 15 years I have watched something so genuine and healthy turn into a sad, unhealthy, lifeless form that is plugged into every machine, and even wirelessly, unable to die.

Conversations used to be genuine, and real. When I had something to ask my brother, I would wait for him to get home and we would talk about it. If I had not talked to my grandmother for a while, I would make an effort to drive to her house, eat her delicious cooking, and have a real conversation about life. After I spent the afternoon catching up on all of the family gossip (because grandma knows all) I would say goodbye, and go home. The conversation would have met its maker, and it would die. It did not die in vain, it just past on, and went to where conversations are supposed to go, memories.

I remember when I was in middle school, and the internet went into every home. This was an amazing breakthrough. After you got your computer hooked to the phone line and waited for it to dial up. You watched it dial, heard the crazy fax machine like sounds. Finally, after about 5 minutes of getting online and your homepage loading, it was time to chat. It all started with emails. You could send a personal message to someone and they could receive it anytime anywhere, as long as they were tied to a computer and phone line. ICQ was the first instant messenger that was popular in my area and then went straight into a new and improved Microsoft Instant Messenger. I am sure you all remember the green and blue head and body icons that came along with it.

So, that’s how it started, you got yourself a new cool “Hotmail” account and you were ready to chat.  If you were really cool, and had expensive internet, you could get an AOL account. (I heard it was better, but couldn’t get to that level)

My first phone was a Motorola flip phone. It had analog signal, and as long as you were in a good place for signal, and you had the antenna pulled out, it was capable of making phone calls. The idea that I could call anyone anywhere was wonderful at the time, but it is just another poison for the already dying conversation.
In my undergraduate years, I finally got to the next level of phones, color screen and even a camera.  During this time, a new concept had hit the heart of the genuine conversation, Texting. I fought and fought about how dumb it would be to type out a message. All I could think about is how much work that is, and I made the decision, I will just call.

People started texting me, and I realized it was just like email, I could send a personal message to anyone I want, from anywhere I want, and they can get back to me when they get the chance. I don’t have to stop what I am doing for this conversation, I can continue on my day, and have a conversation without even putting effort in.  Text messages are one of the biggest culprits for this downfall of the genuine conversation. Conversation had completely lost its mannerisms. There is no way to judge the emotion in a text conversation, everything gets taken out of context, and you are just left wondering if you had a good conversation, or if that smiley face was sarcastic. We lost the ability to spell correctly, enunciate, or even be honest if we thought something was funny. During genuine conversation, if something is funny, we laugh… LOL, LMFAO, HAHA, HEHE, TTYL, BRB, ILY, IDK, WTF. What a joke… This conversation deserves to die, let it.

During my junior year at Purdue, I was introduced to next great thing… FACEBOOK. How great was this breakthrough. I could be friends with people I don’t even know, try to generate a BS conversation with them, and even act interested.

 I could put on there if I was interested in a relationship, and if I found a girl I thought was attractive, I could poke her. Maybe she will poke back. She didn’t poke back. What does this mean? Does she not think I am pretty? Oh I might not be pretty. Let me find out real quick. So I post a selfie (I took 5 or 6 and got the best one). AHHHH. YESSSSS. 34 likes and 14 people told me “great pic.” 

This isn’t real Life.

This is us holding onto a dead conversation, hoping to find some support from people we don’t genuinely want to talk to.

Since then, there have many so many new social media sites that only let you post pictures or you have to live your life in 140 characters or less, and all you care about is having more followers than people you are following. That is real satisfaction, Right?

Even better news, about six and a half years ago, the latest and greatest breakthrough for killing all genuine conversations became real. The first generation IPhone. This put all of you mediums to constant contact from text, to Facebook, to Instagram, (which works well because you can just snap a new picture with your phone and post immediately) in the palm of your hand. You can make these lifeless conversations go on and on, anywhere you want and never let them die.

Over the last 15 years I have seen the development of Email, Instant Messenger, Cell Phones, Text Messaging, Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, and any amount of other social media. And above all, I have seen the slow downfall of genuine conversation to a lifeless, heartless, emotionless, form of interaction that is only holding on by a thread. We never let them just pass away and move on to MEMORIES.

I am going to make a movement to Pull the Plug, Disconnect a Dying Conversation, and let myself cherish the memory of a conversation.

I am going to lock my Social Media accounts, and have someone I care about change the password. I am going to start with one month and see how much I miss the social world.

I want to rejuvenate the life of the Genuine Conversation. I want to have face to face conversations and real phone calls about things that matter. I want to go see my nieces, nephews, and not rely on pictures online to watch these kids grow.  I want to genuinely become a part of someone’s life, not just “Facebook Official.”
 have spent 15 years, tumbling down the path to lifeless conversations. I am going to pull the plug, and say goodbye to the conversations that have no meaning, no emotion, no life.

Goodbye for now Facebook and text messages, I am moving on.

Dr. Moz