While I am not a religious person, I am very intrigued by the idea of rituals. It’s the structure of rituals I find most appealing; as I get older I find comfort in predictability. It helps the world make sense to me.
There’s a lot of chaos in the world, especially evident in social media and the offshoots of the behavior, with the pearl clutching, outrageous adjective use, and desire for clicks and clacks.
I had a revelation this morning. A good chunk of my participation in social media has to do with validation. It’s an exercise in trying get that next trophy. Good job, you’re funny, and all that. And I’m seeing that as wasted energy. There must be better uses for the energy expended into writing short blips of content on the social media sites; things like reading, learning, thinking, reflecting.
I don’t want social media to be part of my daily rituals any longer. At my age I suppose I should no longer need to seek validation, after all, I’ve made it this far and as I enjoy the better half of my life, I should just be content in being me. So many rely on social media for contact with others. That’s always been my excuse for maintaining a presence of Facebook. It’s a way to maintain contact with those that share a common interest, and more importantly, friends and family back east. We all know phone calls and letters and FaceTime and emails excel over social media. For many these methods seem outmoded and outdated. Well, maybe I’m outmoded and outdated.
I’m content with that.
I have always admired the ways of Vulcans in the Star Trek universe. Completely fictional, there are elements from Stoicism that inspired the writers that conceived and continue to expounded upon Vulcans. Is Stoicism for me? Not entirely, but it’s something to read and learn about. And energy once used for social media can easily be redirected to more important things, like reading. I still enjoy reading books, although I have been known to try to make the print larger in a hardcover book by spreading my fingers as if I was trying to zoom in on an iPad.
As I moved my daily rituals from frivolity to a more intentional existence, I can’t help think that I’ll feel more fulfillment in the long run. When my time has passed and folks talk about me I hope they say, “he really grew into his own, and he was very pleasant to be around”.
Perhaps that’s the greatest trophy to earn in life.