Google+, and Other Anchors

Niagara Falls - Up Close - by E. Howard

Google+ is now a part of my life. I am mostly thrilled to add it to my collection of ways to communicate with people I know and don’t know online. These also include:

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Picasa
  • Flickr
  • WordPress
  • Blogger
  • Facebook
  • Gmail
  • Digg

And many others.

Just as I pondered when I started dabbling in Twitter, I wonder:  What illusion do we want to invest in?

I am thinking about this as I tally up certain THINGS that pile up in life. Normal things, uninteresting things that have uses, of course, and lure us by how they can multitask for us.

For example, recently we acquired new bunkbeds. They are very cool beds, with a staircase and built in drawers and such wonderful safety features. BUT, I ask you this:

Why did we buy these bunk beds? We already HAD bunk beds!

Google desires to compete with Facebook. They couldn’t purchase it (like they did YouTube, for example) so they decided to create a version of their own social networking “circle”. They want to “integrate” our lives and make everything easier. Is it?

The progress of life is like climbing up a steep hill. The notion of “over-the-hill” is correct. Because at some point in our lives we stop climbing and reach the summit.

This is a most excellent time to look around and assess life, the world and all its trickery. To separate out the baubles from the beauty. To clean house and consider what is important. This is when we are not young and stupid, anymore, but still young enough to be flexible in our bodies and minds.

Maybe we choose to keep collecting the useless and the meaningless– just  because we love it, or maybe because we didn’t bother to take stock at the top. Maybe because we don’t want to admit we are starting to roll down the other side.

The inevitable part of life is seeing ourselves become older, softer, less relevant to our culture. And at the same time recognizing in our hearts how well we know ourselves, and the world too. Wisdom comes at a price.

Google+ –like Twitter, Facebook, et al — are illusions. They weigh our lives down until we can hardly move. No need to make arguments for the benefits. I know them, and even use them. Every fantasy creates its own joy.

At some point, all this grabbing stops for each of us. We let go of the need to pull ourselves higher and just let the world be as it is– beautiful and already full.
Oh, so full.

Elizabeth Howard

Elizabeth writes literary non-fiction, haiku, cultural rants, and Demand Poetry in order to forward the cause of beautiful writing. She teaches and speaks about the rhetorical impact of beautiful writing. A recent transplant to Connecticut, she calls London, Kansas City, and Iowa home.

 

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