Day 218 of 366: Blog Challenge 2012

Hello all

Today I have a confession to make. No, I don’t have some deep secret hidden away that I am about to let out of the bag. This confession concerns my mobile phone bill.

You see when I was in Fiji in May this year, I had left the battery to my lap top at home, causing a minor panic about writing my blog. I solved the dilemma by using the only computer available at Reception for guests but it meant I couldn’t be checking out my emails and my Facebook as often as I am used to doing.

Now I am making a second confession (on how often I check out FB and emails) when I haven’t even told you about the first confession as yet! Oh dear, I am getting ahead of myself here so I just have to ‘fess up without delay.

Confession time: I came home to a bill of $450 for my mobile phone because I checked my Facebook and emails on my mobile phone.

Yes, it never occurred to me to check the conditions of my “roaming” did it? No, like a blase teenager, I just went ahead and used it … without a thought. You see, my usage of Facebook and emails on my mobile is free in Australia. I was so cranky with myself for my thoughtlessness that I kept my phone bill under wraps from other people, feeling like … well, feeling like an idiot!

Anyway, that is all behind me now and as Alice (my granddaughter) said to me last week when she called me into the bathroom URGENTLY to show me a burn she had on her finger from playing with the hot wax from the candles on the dinner table: “Grandma, I made a mistake but I have learnt from it.”

How can one resist such honesty? Yes Alice, I know exactly what you mean. Even grandmothers are never too old to learn from their mistakes! And they have to be honest enough to ‘fess up and tell the world that this is so. We want to hide our mistakes from the world don’t we?

But the truth is, people are relieved to see that they are not alone and that others make mistakes too. The other thing I didn’t realise at the time was how much I check Facebook and emails. It has become a habit and one just does it for what reason? Is it boredom? Perhaps some breaking news is going to pop up? Somehow I think now!

I was prompted to confess all this because of an article I read this morning in the Brisbane “Sunday Mail‘ about the effects of social media on our Olympics hopefuls. Poor things, it seems that social media have been giving certain Olympians a hard time.

People like Emily Seebohm (who cried when she won a silver medal and not a gold) and Stephanie Rice (who won no medals) but who was well-known in the past as having a dodgy Tweeter finger with her inappropriate Tweets. It seems that Stephanie has learned from all this and put a Tweeting ban on herself at the Olympics.

Thinking about all this today brought back memories  that during my cruise around Australia I was far too reliant on social media and emails. Determined not to commit the same mistake as I had in Fiji, I made sure I did not use my mobile whilst at sea. I used it only when I was on land in Australia. And do you know what? I felt lost without it … at first.

How did this happen to me? How had I succumbed to this Gen Y trait when I am a Baby Boomer? Oh folks, I needed to find a Social Media Anonymous for the first few days, but I have to tell you that I soon got used to it and before long, I was enjoying the freedom that I have always enjoyed when I wasn’t blogging or checking for comments or for numbers of readers.

Ouch, that confession hurts folks!! But the nice end to this tale is that I have continued to resist the urge to be checking my social media, since I returned home. It feels good. I am in control of my life again and that’s the way I want to stay. I am a user but not a compulsive user.

And spare a thought for our young people particularly, for the Sunday Mail ended its column by stating that there are issues here with social media as to how we all live and particularly as to how our young kids live – on a stage so to speak – in front of too many people. The author of the piece, David Penberthy  says:

“There is a hell of a lot to be said for growing up and making mistakes in private, for saying dumb things in front of friends or family rather than your army of fair-weather cyber friends, none of whom would ever get you out of a scrape in real life and are just as likely to start tweeting about it should you fall victim to one.”

And that my friends, is where I will close my blog. Hopefully like young Alice, all of us can say when we need to: “Well, I made a mistake but I have learnt  from it.”

‘Nough said.