I remember quite clearly my Mother and even my Grandmother complaining that they didn’t understand the world any longer. I used to laugh inside because I always thought that they were referring to the changing technology, the gizmo’s and gadgets that we these days wouldn’t use as they would already be seen as old fashioned. Now I wonder if what they really were talking about, was something much more important, people themselves and the way they choose to live their lives. For me now being in my seventh year of being housebound, means that I can only gauge the world by what I see on TV and what I read online, I am no longer out there, but from time to time I come across something that makes me think and makes me also wonder what is happening to this world.
I made a discovery that other day that kind of shocked me when it came to something I thought really simple and obvious, the meaning and use of “Social Media”. I always thought that it was something people used in their spare time, not like me all day every day, but just as they do with all other socialising, basically when they are not at work or in education, so I expected that weekends would be the peak times along with evenings, I was somewhat shocked to find out just how wrong I was, stick with me for a moment while I explain how and what I found. I discovered a new toy a few days ago and although it is related to twitter it has actually shown me something about the public that I didn’t expect. Just quickly so you understand what I am talking about I found a free to use service that analyses those people who follow you and the times they are online so that you can see the time when a tweet should get the greatest impact, but what it has shown me is people live every different lives from those I thought logical. The site lets you look at data from different countries or even cities and it shows the twitter usage for your selection. It didn’t matter which part of the UK I looked at or even Europe, what I found was always the same, 6am is always the lowest point rising to the peak time for people to tweet is at 2 pm on all weekdays, very slowly dropping through to midnight and the true drop off at 2am and weekend usage is half that of any weekday.
Something in our society has changed, clearly there are millions of people across the world who see twitter as more important than their jobs. I suppose I shouldn’t have been shocked but I really was, I would never have thought of even sending a personal email, or to check a website while I was working, work was work, even when I worked from home, I did nothing but work during the hours I was supposed to. I knew already, as it was part of my job to monitor things like illegal usage of company property, ie looking at Ebay or making personal phone calls, so I did already know that there were some who might take a sneaky chance every now and then. It appears now that almost everyone is at it, working at the start of their day and slowly starting to tweet as time goes on. What has happened to the work ethic? Sometimes, just watching TV, I find myself feeling old because I know now that many of my views are what many would see as old fashioned, but the majority of the way I look at the world is based on doing the right thing at the right time, I don’t think that has anything to do with fashion, just ethics. I would no more sit here day after day, not working and accepting the money I get from the state if there was the slightest possibility that I could work, then I would sit in work tweeting to my friends, to me they would be equally wrong. It may be just a tiny thing, but it is part of a much bigger picture and one that somewhere along the line has become fatally blurred.
Sitting here day after day, with a body that lets me down at every turn, actually makes it even harder to get my head around how easily these days people are prepared to throw away what they have, just for the sake of fashion, of being part of the most popular or the biggest thing going. I remember years ago coming up with this mad idea for a way to get kids to go to school, as I said it was mad, but basically, I wanted to take every child at age 10 and stick them down a coal mine for four months. There they would have to work just as children did in the past, for pennies, then ask them do they want to go back to school and study, or continue on working in the mine, if my theory worked, I was sure almost all would choose to study and would do so to their very best. Maybe it is time, that somewhere in that study they were also taught how to prioritise the really important things in their lives. How we live is our own choice, but without the knowledge, we can’t make those choices wisely.
Since yesterday, my hands have been OK, well my personal version of OK. I found myself lying in bed yesterday with both my hands resting on my legs, but unable to feel either of them. I couldn’t sleep because of it as I just wanted to keep moving them to be sure they were still working and hadn’t both died on me, neither had nor have they since then, but things like this play on your mind. I often find myself not doing what I should, just because I am distracted by something that happened hours ago. There is no way round living like this, you can’t make yourself think anything, your brain will run where it wants to, which is why I hate and get angry at anyone who says stupid things like “don’t worry”, none of us choose to worry or not. I have wished a million times that I could reprogram my brain, just as I used to program PC’s, give it a set of rules and tell it exactly what it can or can’t think about. Just like memories, thought come and go, especially when you don’t want them too. Sensations are just the same, once a nerve or a set of them start playing up, they continue until suddenly one day they stop. Right now I am still hitting all the wrong keys, deleting and retyping, my skin still feels like it is host to an alien life and on occasions burning intensely, but that is how they will remain for a few days, time is the only thing I have left, time to wait and see what will eventually happen or not, time I will fill with social media.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 08/06/12 – The Right to Dignity
Last night I spent the whole evening sitting on the settee in sections. I heard that what? All yesterday and today I have been having spasms from the base of my spin to about half way down the back of my thigh. Spasms are painful and when they tighten they are impossible to make them let go. It is a poor comparison but as close as I can think of. Everyone at some point in their life I am sure has had a muscle cramp or stitch, they are painful and all that you can do is try…..
Glad to hear that your hands are back. I am sure that must have been scary. Social media has a lot to answer for. As you have correctly observed, many people are not working half the time they are at their workplace, but are on the Internet. I wonder how much more work would be done had it not been invented? Or as some people say, people work better because they have periods of relaxation at work while they are surfing the Internet. Who knows? Maybe in offices of previous times, people spent a lot of time chatting to their colleagues instead of working ?