“#Nature” by Mandi Bridgeman

Imagine that you wake up, brew a cup of coffee and step out onto your porch. You gaze into the morning sun allowing the bright rays to dance across your nose and take a warm sip of your artificially sweetened coffee as your metal mug warms your hands and you listen. You listen to the cars swooshing in the background, the hum of traffic making soft thumps on the highways imperfect surface. You listen to the chug of hydraulics as semis plow through traffic. In the distance rusted trains slice through quiet towns, jarring whistles. You listen to a lawn mower humming along as blades of grass are beheaded.

You listen… but what you haven’t heard is life. There are no birds chirping, they are too busy re-tweeting the insignificant chirps of birds they met during their migration. There are no dogs barking because they are busy texting their latest story of the bitch they saw walking down the street last night. On Facebook, rabbits are busy posting their latest bunny photos unaware that their babies are playing Russian roulette with speeding motorists. Deer, bears and squirrels spend their days Instagramming their latest food harvest, not realizing that while they weren’t looking other animals are stealing all of their precious goods. It seems ludicrous that animals would ever spend their days glued to social media sites, but why not for humans?

Social Media, isn’t so social, it is one person posting to see who else is interested in what they are saying. The responses are flighty, limited and often insincere. You are avoiding communication with the people who matter, with the people who are in the same room, who are ready for you to give them as much as you give your social audience. We have all fallen prey to the social media cult and we are the only ones who can step away. Give someone a call and ask them about their lives, meet up for coffee with an old friend instead of sipping on it as you read about random peoples lives. Do it for a day, for a week or a month and see if you find your relationships improve. Perhaps, I should too.

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