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By Jack H. Smith
Three Forks Voice 

Column: Like Mike

 


A famous Gatorade commercial saturated the airwaves in the early 1990s featuring the famous slogan of “Be Like Mike.” The campaign with the iconic former Chicago Bull Michael Jordan had millions repeating the catchphrase, and I’m sure that I probably even said it a few times.

I had not thought of the commercial in nearly three decades when I was reminded of a friend, who also had the name, Mike. While I was spending a few minutes reminiscing about all the chaos the two of us created, I realized that Mike does not or has never had a social media account. The more I thought about what life was like and would be like now with social media, and I am inspired to be “Like Mike”.

Looking back at our friendship, Mike and I instantly hit it off, and he was always the type of person that received the attention of everyone in the room whether he wanted it or not. He was almost larger than life, and the two of us would spend hours laughing. We were also like a match and gasoline, so it was probably best we were only thick as thieves for a couple of years before we went our separate ways.

Every time I see him, even if it has been a decade, was instantly connect, and I still try to talk to him a couple of times a year on the phone.

When I first found social media with Myspace probably 16 or 17 years ago, I was a little bit surprised I did not find Mike. When I graduated to Facebook, I was even more surprised he never joined, but I guess it will never happen. I’m pretty sure he might be on to something.

There are a few great things about social media, and it can reconnect friends and family. Social media also allows me a lot of quick access to work-related items and story ideas that are very useful. I do, however wonder if the juice is worth the squeeze.

I’ve had times in my life where I can get a little anxious, but social media has only made this worse.

I’m not quite sure why, but I will feel like I’m missing out if I’m not constantly checking out.

I also have found that it upsets me when people can be so negative and tear people down for no reason. The term “keyboard warrior” is prevalent more than ever, and it is said to see how quickly someone can bash another, oftentimes with any provocation. Not everyone will see eye to eye on things, especially politically, but that does not mean people have to be so stinking rude.

I’ve also found there is so much misinformation floating around that it is scary. People will read something on social media and automatically think it is accurate when there is no semblance of truth.

The biggest issue I have is the amount of time I find myself using social media and cannot even remember what it was like before I had a phone in my hand half the day.

The other day, I was so stressed out about something I read online, and I remembered my friend Mike.

I’ve talked a lot about using social media less and even mentioned it in this weekly column a few times, but it is now time to act. I’m certainly not going to delete my accounts, but I am going to make some changes.

I am going to “Be like Mike,” and hopefully, this can take away some of the stress.

It seemed like those days in the late 1990s with my friend Mike were a lot more fun without an electronic device.

For all the people like Mike who’ve never had an account, you are on to something.

 

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