Social Media Conflict

I've been in a space of conflict lately about social media, about this device in my hands. And then after spending a few days with a dear friend who has walked away for good, I was reminded of all the reasons I ever walked myself.

We chatted a lot about this, she and I. But the truth is, it's been sitting with me for quite a bit. I've been off of social media a handful of times. Deleted my accounts, detoxed, and eventually made my way back in the name of business, writing, or whatever else. I've worked on balance, narrowed who I've followed, all in hopes of that elusive, desire to be able to stay and still not lose sight of what's important.

I've failed. Miserably failed.

But what of people like my good friends Tiffany Ruda and Tristian Skidmore? What of Jessica Cudzillo and the Parsons? All artists, mamas, creatives, with businesses and huge followings - that said once and for all, so long, this space isn't cutting it for me ✌🏻️ out.

They all have this one thing in common: family, intentional time spending, and living life without telling the world - these things became their priority over having a big following and thriving business and hash-tagging and being featured and all of it. And soon, soon that feeling became so good, so tangible, they chose to not come back at all.

Tiffany and I, Tristian and I, we've talked long and hard over it the last few years. I remember pretty clearly the feeling those first few days away of always reaching for my phone, of feeling lost in what's happening with my friends and the community. But before long I sat to eat and simply connected with my friends and family, I didn't reach for my phone every blasted second, and the friends that are truly friends, they were just a phone call or text or house visit away.

And yet it's conflicting because there's still that deep desire in me to write, to finish my book and seek an agent, and truth be told, I know the world of publishing likely wants nothing to do with someone who isn't up and up on social media. But. But. But still I am just not sure that's enough to keep me around.

I know for many this is a non issue. I have plenty of friends who wouldn't dream of giving it up, who CAN balance it, but I would also venture to say many of you (myself included) don't realize just how much time you're spending looking down at a phone, how many important conversations you're missing, how much LIFE you're missing (Have you ever checked your daily and weekly usage? It's scary).

I've been watching for the last few weeks when I'm out and about and with people, and it's heart breaking. And I've been guilty of it more than I'd like to admit. When was the last time you ate a meal without a phone in your hand? When did you last have a good conversation with a friend or husband or child, without sneaking a peek at your screen? How about the last time you did something really great, whether it be art or an accomplishment or a trip, without sharing it on IG or snapchat or Facebook?

Because the question remains that, if something happens but isn't declared to the world, does it really happen? Does it have meaning? And even further than that, what's our MOTIVE for sharing. I've had to ask myself some hard questions lately. What IS my motive in each square I publish? What ARE my motives for the words I write on my business FB page? What are yours, your motives?

I think of Tiffany and Tristian, the Parson family and even now Jessica - living their lives and their day to day, doing all the same things they did before, but with more meaning because they don't feel the need to tell the entire world about it. Some of them blog, some don't. But the instant gratification of a share and then the "assurance" of likes and comments, that's long gone for them.

So. Yeah, I'm in a place of conflict. Conviction. Confusion. And yeah, I'm talking ABOUT it ON social media, but it's because I feel so strongly. I know I'm not changing the world with my thoughts, but I'd like to maybe plant a seed in you, to even consider where you're spending your own time. Just as I'm considering it.

So I ask myself and I ask you: If today was our final day on this earth, would we be pleased with how we made use of it?