I did it. 4 weeks without logging on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook (OK I logged on Facebook, but only to send a quick message to someone I didn’t have an email for. Note to self… this is why you collect emails!)
I feel like celebrating. Not only that I stuck to my guns and worked out the self-discipline muscle, but my life is working WITHOUT the pile of sensory overload I was starting to think was mandatory.
Not only is life working, there is grease on the wheels!
I filled an Embody class PLUS scheduled an extra last minute class to accommodate the waitlist; all without social media. A heartfelt email worked just as well, if not better, then my anxious self logging on and off facebook to see if anyone had responded to my event post.
I’ve had 3 inquiries about when the next True You Journey course will be. I wasn’t even sure there would be one, and now people are asking.
I’ve been writing. Not quite as much as I thought, but it’s happening. In this new found social-media-free space, I found my own resistance to emptying myself onto a blank piece of paper. I’m still holding on to the end product being just that. A product. A result. An outcome that fits neatly into a larger project like a book, or a newsletter. I haven’t quite grasped the notion of art for art’s sake. It’s too close to ‘play for play’s sake’, and that part of my DNA still needs a lot of nurturing.
You know what I have been doing though? Meditating.
And practicing my Italian.
I downloaded two new apps, Insight Timer and Duolingo, so now when I have that itch to take myself into another reality, find the answers to life’s unanswerable questions, or just veg out, I have a choice between birdsong and gongs, or discerning between ragazza, ragazze, ragazzo, and ragazzi.
There’s been a few times I had a desire to Tweet some words that touched my heart or share a snap that caught my eye. I want to have an outlet to spread the goodness and beauty that crosses my path, back into the world.
So now I find myself at an impasse. Where do I go from here?
Four weeks ago I assumed that this break would awaken the part of me that likes patterns, rhythm and order. I thought I’d feel rejuvenated and inspired to create and execute a social media plan.
But a plan feels like a straightjacket right now; limiting creative flow and forcing something that perhaps isn’t meant to be.
So I think for the month of May, I will linger in this silence a little bit longer while I re-acquaint myself with the parts of social media that bring me joy, and also give myself the space to create a container that actually works for me.
My hunch is that I may be slightly indulgent and only use it for what I want… a place to share my thoughts, and daily access to the latest photos of my 14 month old niece.
I am pretty sure I am one of those people who doesn’t actually like to be social on social media. The unstated obligation to reply to people’s comments when I actually don’t want to say anything, is enough to keep me off there for good.
It feels kind of selfish to only blurt stuff out and then disappear when people start responding.
The recovering people-pleaser in me feels guilty. I must owe them a response since I was the one that started the ‘conversation’!
Here’s a mind-bender…. what if it’s not actually a conversation we’re having? What if they’re dreading my response to their response too? What if they too want to blurt out whatever’s in their head and then walk away too?
This I can do.
Blurt to my hearts content, and save the real conversations for real life.
Totally self-serving, but then isn’t the inherent spirit of social media self-serving anyway?
I found out that Facebook started as a way for what’s-his-name and his college buddies to have an easy way to rate the attractiveness of their female cohorts; a digital book to rank faces on campus.
I mean, c’mon. Is that not totally self-serving? To think that your opinion counts so much and makes such a difference that you need a technology platform to capture and broadcast your vote?
Why not get out from behind the computer and go talk to her? Then you’d have some real data to form an opinion with. But to cast a vote based on appearance only? That makes only one person feel good… the voter.
Maybe I’ve had it all wrong. I’ve been trying to use social media for connection, conversation, and participation in life.
Maybe the only way for it to feel like a fit, is for me to also use it for self-serving purposes; a place to cast my vote, whether or not you want to hear it.
That actually feels kinda good. Totally authentic. I’m not trying on any games in that scenario; just saying what I think and… that’s it.
Save the dialogue for the pub.
But here, in the digital world, this is not a dialogue. This is just one-way communication.
Whew! The weight of it all seems to be lifting.
Calling a spade a spade. Accepting social media for what it is and not needing it to be anything else.
Now THAT feels good.