It’s been two weeks since I unceremoniously left you guys.
Social media has been a boon for me and it’s also been a curse. On the one hand, I get to share my craziness with you all. The stupid stuff that rambles through my head makes me giggle, so why not share it? But, on the other hand, I also feel the need to constantly share my drama. Which, let’s be honest, no one really needs to see any of that. We all have drama, right? And why pile my drama on top of yours?
I had lately noticed that my life revolved around Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I need to check on so-and-so’s account. What are they up to? Did anyone read my Tweet? How many people liked my picture? OH! That thing that just happened to me was funny! I need to tell everyone! How dare that person support that candidate! I won’t say anything, but I’ll steam about it for a couple of hours. And on and on.
To say that all of you preoccupied my day is an understatement. And when Friday dawned, two weeks ago, and Tyler and I had had a disagreement, I was done. Finished. In addition to walking a thin line each day in which I want to just rail against everything (and don’t) and realizing that my days were filled with the lives of other people rather than my own, I had to step away. Honestly, for that first day, my finger hovered over the Deactivate your account button and I seriously thought about just disappearing completely. But, I reconsidered. Since welcoming all of you into my life, I couldn’t just unceremoniously boot you all out the front door. So, I went silent instead. I walked out of the party and found a quiet spot in the back garden, where I could recharge and have my beer alone.
The first week was pretty tough. I would, literally, jump on each morning to check notifications, and then close the Facebook app as if it had burned me. And then I would sit and stare at my phone and wonder What now? I purposefully logged into Twitter and Instagram as Paranormal Georgia so that there would be less temptation. I caught up on my reading, dabbled a bit in writing, talked with an old friend (Love you, Jude!), fought the Nazis with Grant, cherished a beautiful card from my favorite Pittsburgher, was interviewed for the most out-there article ever, and investigated the paranormal. And most of all, I focused on my children. During quiet moments, I just sat rather than jumping on Instagram to obsessively check pictures or Facebook to greedily count notifications.
And it’s been a revelation. I love all of you, but I have become consumed by your thoughts, opinions, activities, and such. I have 389 Facebook friends. That’s 389 people crowded onto my screen each and every day. 389 people talking and conversing and shouting and whispering and sharing and taking up my thoughts. Let’s be honest, I have a hard time just talking to the neighbor up the street. I don’t think my brain is capable of handling all of that information, on a daily basis, any longer. I hate to be the party pooper, but I need to be selfish. I need to acknowledge that I’m spending too much time on social media and that I’m allowing all the things you all say to each other affect me negatively.
I’m not going to deactivate my accounts because I’m hoping to blog every now and then and maybe interact with you that way. I also have my paranormal group’s account to maintain. But I also want to remind you all that even if I do exercise the nuclear option and disappear from Facebook, I’m not gone. There’s still email. There’s still snail mail. And I’ll always be here, in the cul-de-sac. It’s my thing, you know?
I’ve missed you, but respect your need for space. The only reason I still check FB a lot is for my homeschool groups and to see how some friends are doing. Honestly, I miss physically getting together with people and chatting about silly things over a drink or some tea, but such is life sometimes. I was in your neighborhood a few weeks ago and threw you a psychic wave and a hug. Miss you dear friend! Stay true to you! Mwah!
I completely agree that social media is addictive and can be incredibly toxic. (While I totally respect your decision, it scared me a bit. This isn’t about me though, this is about you and I completely support your pulling back.)
Thank you for writing this post.
I love you so hard. Always, always will I want the best for you.
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I love you. I’ve been wondering where you’ve been. You do what is right for you and we’ll still be here. xoxoxo
Personally, I like to read. Or email. Even real letters (though those are rare). I go through spurts of Facebook. As in months and months and months of not even thinking about it. Then maybe a month or so of checking it. But reading is the best. When I’m not doing other stuff. So it’s good to stand back now and then. . .if not permanently. Whatever is healthiest for you.