I have this picture saved on my phone. Apparently I took it and saw the sky look like this with my own two eyes. But I’m not sure where I was when I saw it or who I was with. I can’t remember what I thought when I saw it or if it reminded me of a random All Sons & Daughters song. Ya see, I didn’t end up posting it. It’s a caption-less picture. Which, sadly, in my world means that it’s kind of like it never happened.
I’ve been on some form of social media since August 5th 2003. That’s when Chris (who was either my “boyfriend” at the time or my most long-standing friend, I honestly can never remember our weird Cory-Topanga-friends-since-Kindegarten-dating-time-line ;)) created a deadjournal for me. The username was lostinemotions. Which is hilarious because at 13 the only emotions I really remember having were craving a poptart, hyper off Pepsi or angst-ridden from watching Dawson’s Creek. One of my first posts contained this gripping tale of my day…
“i ran down my street and knocked over the trashcans. you have NO idea how satisfying that was for me. then i took a shower cause some garbage had spilt on me.”
RIVETING. I know.
I transitioned from my DJ to my LJ to my Myspace to my Facebook. I’ve had blogspots, bloggers and multiple wordpress accounts. I spent legitimate hours of my life crafting my AIM buddy profile and I always worked hard on my custom top 8 and my “big ol BTW”‘s. I now manage 3 different Twitters and Instagrams. I pin, I tumble and I vine. And somewhere along the way it became really really unclear to me as to why I do any of it.
I’m not now nor will I ever be anti-social media. My job is like 67% social media. But I don’t want the rest of my life to be even near that percentage. And ya know what the weird final nail was? I had a nightmare that was primarily social-media-related. I’m not calling it a nightmare ’cause it in and of itself was scary. I’m calling it a nightmare because the fact that I spend so many of my waking hours on social media that I now spend my sleeping hours on it is NOT okay with me. Quite frankly- that scares me.
Social media is a great platform for me to stretch my creative muscles. For me to get some jokes I have in my head out into the universe. To post pictures that depict my charming friends and quirky girls and how much I cherish them. To capture and remember moments in time that mattered in some way to me. There’s nothing wrong with that stuff, right? I’m just connecting with people and building a virtual scrapbook. No harm in that. I’m serious–there is no harm in social media when you do it in a healthy way. I believe that.
Unfortunately it’s also a great platform for me to seek meaningless less-than-God-given validation, subtly beg for affirmation, compare my life to other’s in a negative way, become obnoxiously competitive over trivial things, feel unhealthily connected to people that I need to sever ties with, encounter my fear-of-missing-out tendencies, and perhaps most alarming to me–depict myself and my life in ways that are not always 100% truthful. It’s like a socially acceptable way for me to escape and live outside of reality. Again. That’s not okay. It never was.
I’ve read a lot of articles about social media addiction. I owned up to it a long time ago to my closest friend and I’ve never denied it when someone’s called me on it. But I didn’t really think of it as something that I should tend to. But it is. Maybe it’s not the worst thing in the world to be addicted to, but it’s not the best either. I don’t want my girls to think I’m paying attention to their lives through my iPhone camera and a filter–but instead feel that I’m always present with them. I don’t want my close friends to think I need them to “Like” me often in order to love me well. I don’t want to be fulfilled by retweets and a red notification icon.
I gotta regroup a little. I gotta read some books and jog with only music to hold my attention and eat meals with friends without once checking my phone and have quiet time without thinking if a verse is 140-characters and never EVER find myself 37wks deep in a strangers Instagram. I’ve got stuff to do and gramming it is far less necessary than living it.
This is as close to a cleanse as I’ll ever get–my little social media fast. I am not setting an end date or sharing my guidelines with anyone but my 3. And yes–I am so very much aware that posting this on social media is a weird little metaphor(but I mean that in a Gus Waters kind of way–as in it’s not a metaphor at all, it’s just ironic).
But I felt compelled to explain my impending absence. I’ve been on this stuff for 10+ years. I’m not just going to fade away without any explanation like 38% of The West Wing characters do.
See ya soon ya internet trolls. KBYE.