Can low income workers and retirees afford social media?
The conclusion I’m coming to is no.
Social media has served to engage me in writing brief posts, in collecting news, and from time to time, in chatting with friends and acquaintances. It helps pass time during breaks at the home, farm and auto supply store. Social media posts have been the subject of conversations at home. A few clicks and I can view what friends from the old neighborhood are doing. I can follow news reporters to tailor my feed and quickly match stories with my interests. As I approach retirement and feel the suck of a vortex into the pit of aging these uses seem less relevant.
I don’t think of myself as old although my frame reminds me I’m not as strong as I was ten years ago. Something’s got to give and I’m pretty sure it will be my time on social media.
What will I do instead?
I’ll keep writing, turning my blog into a primary way for people to follow me and keep up with I’m doing. I’ll get back to journaling and work on bigger projects I have discussed on this site.
I’ll do the unpaid work at home that helps people of limited means get by: baking bread, gardening, preserving food, making our meals more from scratch, home exercise, exploring home remedies, learning how to fix things around the house, and useful chores.
I’ll decrease my driving to keep a smaller carbon footprint — I don’t really enjoy driving as I did. Maybe get the car out once a week to pick up supplies, twice if I need unexpected parts while fixing something around the house. There will be occasional social outings.
I’ll read books and magazines in addition to internet articles, mostly to serve my writing.
I’ll downsize and organize in preparation for when the final curtain falls.
Today is Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day — an odd coincidence. Rose Monday is past, Mardi Gras finished. It’s time to contemplate our mortality in light of love, hoping spring works it’s magic again. A rekindling of hope to get us through this ashen world.
It doesn’t take the internet to get by.