As you may have noticed, it has been quite awhile since I last posted.
This was by design.
In part of my journey of becoming the woman I am to be… I was asked to abstain from social media for seven days. For me, that would mean no Instagram, no Facebook, and (dun dun dun)… no blogging. But surely, blogging is not social media? I asked. Uh, yes. For the purposes of this exercise, it was.
I have seen many of you take a “Facebook Break”. Whether for Lent, for another purpose, or just because, I’ve been a witness to it before. I’ve seen some of you leave Facebook entirely forever, to banish yourself from the daily timesuck.
It wasn’t until I took a week off, that I realized when I used social media the most (Facebook, Instagram, Blogging, even) … when I was bored. When I was bored and waiting. When I was bored, and waiting and feeling a bit alone.
I had two big thoughts during this time.
The first being, wow, I have so much more time!! Time to get stuff done. Time to get organized, time to rediscover passions I gave up long ago that I would like to re-enage… like art. Like music. Like spending time with friends and family.
The second is my connection with people. When you don’t connect with people on Facebook or Instagram (or even by sending out a blog post every couple of days), the only way to connect with people is: in person, on the phone, via letter, Skype/Facetime, IM, text, or through email. And there is something inherently different about these methods. It is a limited audience. A message that is so tailored to the person you are delivering it to, it is only meant for them, and them only.
Instagram, Facebook, Blog… hundreds of people may come across them. This isn’t rocket science here… it’s just not as personal, i.e. the connection, the true human connection, is somewhat lost.
It happened to be coincidence that my last post was also about social media. I guess social media does have more impact on me than I had originally thought. The fact that I had last posted about people’s posts that drove me nuts, made me realize, um, I am too into people’s posts.
The seven days away allowed me to connect with the people who are actually in my life. It allowed me to go day to day without feeling like I missed out on a news story (two people texted me about Miley). It allowed me to see that the life I see in front of me is pretty great and it’s just that, in front of me and not on a screen.
I think the other purpose of this exercise was to reestablish who I am to others. It’s interesting, because I use stories to connect with people. I have always had people tell me, “I love your stories.” And I love my stories too. But what happens if all I am is a mass production of stories? What happens when I become the court jester or the dancing monkey? The source of entertainment?
You see, how can I be a Queen (which is what I want), if ultimately I am but the court jester?
By slowing down the blogging and the Facebook posting, I am giving those people in my life the opportunity to actually know me… not just my stories. To know me for my values, and passions and spirit. Maybe it’s a little more boring, but it’s more real life. And the ones who just want to stories will fade away, and the ones who want the whole package will be here to stay.
I’m not going to give up all these things forever. I get to see some great things happening in my friends/family’s lives on Facebook and Instagram. I also enjoy writing on this blog. But I think I will scale it back a bit, I’m kind of enjoying this life in front of me now.
One thought on “The Social Experiment”
Good for you. I have dialed back from it all considerably, much to the delight of mySelf, my kids and my life. I also think we’re good not blogging all the time. Weekly is good enough for me. On the yoga training retreat we had very limited wifi and I saw people go through intense withdrawals. I don’t ever want to be like that. It’s not living.