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Is social media & technology making us walking zombies?

12 Jul 2014

written by Cindy Matalucci

I must start this article with a confession, “I am a social media techie addict.” I am not afraid to admit this but in my defense it is part of my job to always be tweeting, posting on facebook, and instagram. I do slightly obsess over instagram and find my fingers twitching and my heart racing when I can’t find my i-phone and it has been at least 10 minutes since I checked instagram. Does anyone else feel this way or is it just me? Note to self, must call a therapist, lol!

I can’t help but wonder though if all this technology and social media isn’t turning us into complete anti-social walking zombies. I recently had lunch with a friend that could literally not put their phone down the entire time we were hanging out. I was thinking, engage, engage, come back to me friend, just give me 30 minutes. The funny thing is, this same friend talks to their significant other on facebook and instagram constantly. I then start to wonder how healthy all this posting is. Are we missing out on life’s precious moments? Let’s dig a bit deeper.

Recently I noticed that their has been a wave of crimes happening in our city. Beatings, murders, kidnappings, and it is downright scary. What concerns me about constantly being plugged in is that you are no longer aware of your surroundings and I think this can be very dangerous. I worry about the girls that are on their phones and not checking to see what is happening around them as that is what criminals usually look for. Someone that looks lost or is not paying attention. I know I have been guilty of this myself but I do make a conscious effort to pull myself away from my phone when I am by myself in public or in a desolate area. I can thank my dad for making me very aware of my surroundings at an early age. Anthony “Tony” Matalucci was the kind of father that didn’t pull any punches. He owned a concrete and stone business which his father and the family worked their butts off to make into a successful concrete plant. He also owned a gun shop called “Tony’s Guns & Ammo.” Ok, I know what your thinking, Italian girl from New Jersey, Dad owned a concrete plant and a gun shop…..Mafia princess. No, we were not in the Mafia but I think someone should have told “Tony” that!

Tony in his Gunshop t-shirt

Tony in his Gunshop t-shirt

My Dad wanted to have boys and the poor guy ended up with 3 girls, one big house full of estrogen. He was an avid hunter and went on hunting trips every year to Montana or British Columbia. He was also a black belt in Karate. You know where I am going with this right? I ended up being a bit of a tomboy growing up because I was Daddy’s little girl and loved spending time with him. I learned to shoot a gun at an early age, I went hunting with him, though I could NOT kill the poor animals. (I once shot a squirrel and literally felt so heartsick that I couldn’t eat for a week.)

I played Little League and was the only girl on the team. My nickname was “Miss Hollywood” go figure! My Dad would come home from Karate and teach me the self defense moves. He would say, “this is what you do if someone grabs you.” Then show me how to twist a person’s wrist, knee the wrist at the right angle so if the assailant was holding a knife or weapon, he would drop it with this blow. Then he would tell me to kick the guy in the you know what, and run as fast as I could to get away! He drilled into my head constantly that I needed to be aware of where I was at all times and to pay attention when I went into a restaurant or public place to know where my exits were and to scan the room for anything out of place or anyone suspicious. I still do this to this day. My boyfriend thinks I am crazy. We will literally be in target and I am convinced that the guy in the aisle with us is a serial killer. By the time we get to the check out counter I have already scanned the place, know where the entrance and exit is, and have picked out any people that I think are suspicious. I know this sounds crazy but if we are so tuned out to reality and too immersed in our “on line life” are we putting ourselves in grave danger?

Tony & I

Tony & I

Little League Only gal on the team.  Nick name: "Miss Hollywood."

Little League Only gal on the team. Nick name: “Miss Hollywood.”

Elk decorated at Christmas

Elk decorated at Christmas

I will admit my father was over the top paranoid and almost single handedly ruined my dating life by cleaning his guns when guys would come to the door to pick me up for a date (Thank you “Tony” for that one!) yet I have to admit that it helped me be the person I am today, and has gotten me out of several scary situations. I can only hope that in today’s society, mothers and fathers are teaching their daughters how to protect themselves and be strong in this cyber world that we live in.

I guess what I am trying to say is, ladies, be wary of where you are and take some time to make sure you know your surroundings and keep yourself safe before you reach for your phone to check in or tweet! Your safety should always come first. I also hope you can take the time to disengage from your “on line lives” and stop and smell the roses. Enjoy the company of the people you are with, and live life in the moment. I personally am going to work on this myself and think it will make me a healthier more balanced person. When you are sitting on the couch with your significant other and you are both on your phones trolling facebook, not interacting with each other, you know there is a problem! Just sayin! Ok, now you can go take that selfie!

At an event on social media

At an event on social media

Selfie with friends

Selfie with friends

Screen shot 2014-03-03 at 3.49.25 PM

Photo Credit: chuck fedalizo photography


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