Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Horses don’t tweet. Written By: Attila Farkas “I believe that it is important to use social media as a tool and not as a constantly dripping intravenous digital chocolate.” Most of you may not remember the days when you had to walk to your friend’s house if you wanted to talk to her or him. You had to call out his name, wait for the dog to stop barking, call out his name again and hope that someone has heard you. When I’ve lived in Hungary over fifty years ago, riding a bicycle, or a horse, or simply walking to meet with someone was the norm. Today, Facebook, Twitter, texting or chatting can connect you to anyone instantly. The speed of communication can save lives; however, it can rob you from delivering a well-thought-out message that crystallized during that five-minute walk to your friend’s house. When was the last time you thought about a tweet or a Facebook post? Your thoughts are processed much faster than you can speak and your first impulse to reply to a text or a tweet may not be the best one. The continuous flow of virtual communication and the feeling of instant satisfaction from a like on Facebook or a favorable tweet can be just as addictive as coffee, sugar, or junk food. Social media is like fire. You can use it to cook amazing meals or you can use it to burn down the house. I use social media to cook amazing meals, to educate people, to light up someone’s spirit, build a network of knowledge, and also enjoy it as entertainment. The secret to using social media effectively is that you have to unplug, unwind just as often as you log in and stare at the screen or your phone. Go for a walk, talk to someone face to face, without holding your phone in your hand, waiting for the next groundbreaking text or status update to arrive from your friend, Jillian. When the text arrives she is just letting you know that she had to puke from the organic protein powder drink that you have suggested. I think a course should be offered that can teach people how to separate from their phone and focus on what another human being has to say. You should master social media, but don’t let social media master you. When was the last time you have sat quietly and consciously tried to focus on slowing down your racing thoughts? Look at the clouds, the trees, the snow, or another human being and just give your attention to the present moment. From this stillness and quiet relaxation, you may have a thought or an idea that will seize the opportunity to break through the sub-conscientious and present itself. Now you can go back to your computer and tweet about it or write an article like this. Don’t let electronic pollution and wireless congestion confuse your thinking and cloud your judgment. Fifty years ago that ten-minute walk or+ bicycle ride to meet someone automatically presented the opportunity to distill your message and select the best option. You have to find the same opportunity today in the form of exercise, gardening, meditation, or just listening to another person without holding a phone in your hand. Remember, horses can’t tweet, but sharks can. If you don’t believe me, just Google it.