I decided to take a break from social media for the rest of the month. It’s always been so easy to avoid what I really wanted to be doing because Facebook was such a beautiful distraction.
I wanted November to be about getting back into writing and falling back in love with a part of myself that I’d left behind for far too long. Last night as I sat in front of this computer trying to write a post for Day 4 of NaBloPoMo, I flipped to another tab in the browser and started looking at Facebook. I messaged and read and posted and commented away until I finally got up, shut the computer off and sat back on the couch. My mind was empty of creativity.
Social media is such a beautiful way to connect with people I likely would not have without it. I’m friends with girls from grade school that I haven’t otherwise spoken to in over 20 years. I’m scheduling dinner and drinks with people from high school that I wasn’t actively hanging out with back in the day. I’m friends on Facebook with people I’ve met through this website or other websites like twitter or another blog. I love that social media allows us to express ourselves in new ways and share our lives with people across the globe.
I also believe social media is ruining our ability to connect with people in real time. We sit behind computer screens and suddenly we lose what it means to listen to another person share their story. We lose out on opportunities to have full conversations. We learn about one another in sound bites and convince ourselves we know the full story when, in reality, you can’t convey much in a tweet or a status update or even a series of comments.
I find that I sit across from people and ignore what is in front of me to scroll through my phone. I don’t pick up a book because I have the Internet. Family gatherings and dinner parties are broken up by flashes and dinging of phones until suddenly we are all sitting in silence as we stare at little screens instead of enjoying the company we have right in front of us.
I’m challenging myself this November to be better at showing up. I want to look someone in the eye when we talk about our beliefs and values. I want to hold someone’s hand when I reassure them. I don’t want to post Happy Birthday! on a Facebook wall, I want to hug them or call them or hand them a gift and celebrate together. I want Thanksgiving to be a day where I don’t feel the pull of my phone, rather I feel myself being entertained by the family I have in my home, eating and laughing and talking to one another.
I also hope I’ll spend more time here, writing, sharing and laughing. I hope I’ll allow myself to sit in front of a computer and write out the things that are challenging me, that feel important to me and find new ways to live up to my potential instead of wasting it for hours at a time. I want to live a real, full life…even if only for a month.