This Isn’t Goodbye…Yet?

I’ve been back and forth over what to do with this blog for a while now and haven’t really been able to form tangible reasons why I haven’t wanted to post here anymore. I knew it all came hand in hand with my opinion of social media these days but that wasn’t quite all there was to the story. Let’s back up.

 

Back in 2007 I discovered blogging. It was before I even knew what a “smart phone” was and well before Twitter or Instagram or Facebook were the enormous deal that they are now (or maybe they were already huge back then, I really have no idea). My point is, I discovered that you can connect with and build relationships with people you’ve never even met. It was amazing and supportive and a community. My blog developed fairly well and we regularly had great conversations in the comments and lots of readers and daily views. There came a time in my journey of weight loss and blogging that I realized I had to close the comments on my blog posts because I was far too invested in what other people thought of what I was doing and I was looking for validation outside of myself. It was a weird time for me because I had completely overhauled my life, was stepping into a new one and I had no frame of reference. Who knew that would be a harbinger of things to come?

 

Lately I’ve become really disinterested in social media and I thought I knew exactly why. I thought it was because most posts were more irritating to me than entertaining and I found myself being annoyed too regularly. All true…..but not the reason. One day about a month ago, we went for a nice walk outside and I forgot my phone at home….so I couldn’t take and post a picture and I wasn’t logging the route so I could post it back later. And I had a sudden realization that I was going through life not recognizing that I was experiencing all these amazing moments; I was missing it all because I was too busy framing it up to post it all the time. If I don’t post the dinner I cooked, did I eat it? If I don’t post the walk I took, did we go? If I don’t post how much I love my husband, is it true? Right then I stopped. Right then I realized I was once again, looking for external validation.

Once I stopped posting, I started to feel like each day and each moment was new and exciting and….valuable. Each moment that I didn’t reduce to 140 characters and didn’t filter or square up and didn’t “spin” on my blog…..they were like giving a gift to myself. I thought it would just be for a while. Just while I broke the habit of social media. Just while I was reconnecting with myself. But the further I have gotten into not posting the more I am really hesitant to turn back, to give those back…..to an anonymous internet.

I realize that I have dear friends that mean the world to me and that I never would have found had it not been for my blog or social media pages. I realized that friends that I had in real life became deeper friendships because we got to know who the other person was on a different plane. But as much as I sincerely value the amazing people, there are parts of my old life lurking there as well with parts that sting and parts that make me shake my head and parts that I regret and which make me mad and sad and regretful. They make me question myself and my choices and my commitment. Those parts are interwoven into the pages of this blog too and I wonder, can you ever really move forward while still being tied to everything that was?

I still read blogs, every day. I still read tweets, every day. Instagram, check it every day. I’ve become a watcher….a commenter….but not a participant.

This is NOT a post to get anyone to blow sunshine up my ass and beg me to stay (if anyone even would, LOL!). I don’t want that at all. I guess what I’m looking for is an honest discussion surrounding social media (addiction?) and external validation. What I’m really trying to do is decide how or if this blog will keep going.

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4 thoughts on “This Isn’t Goodbye…Yet?

  1. Well said. I mentioned this to a “Spark” person not too long ago. I also posted a blog on SPARKS about my social media time. I can totally relate. ~ I realized I spent time in the morning reading & posting & not working out anymore. OR if I did – I was only allowing myself 10 minutes. I had noticed that the posts had stopped but I do know that sometimes WE need that time for us also. 🙂

  2. I totally understand where you’re coming from. When it’s not fun or engaging or interactive anymore, what’s the point? Or when all you’re seeing in your feeds is stuff that pisses you off or makes you cringe, roll your eyes… it can get very tiresome and uninspiring.

    I definitely feel like the shine of social media has worn off for me a bit lately as well. I have tried to reframe it a bit and change it up somewhat though. When I get wrapped up in craving validation/support/comments on my blog I try to remember that writing on my blog is good therapy and a good release for ME. I also know there’s lots of people out there who relate and who get inspired, feel less alone when they read what I write – even if they don’t always comment. Yes, there are the silent looky-loo’s that are doing little more than spying and that’s a big turn off to it all for sure.

    I have also stopped using twitter as a bitching ground (for the most part), and no longer as a place to vent when I’m feeling negative. Instead I’ve been trying to find things to be grateful for and post them there (and Facebook occasionally). It actually feels pretty good using it that way.

    It can be pretty easy to get wound up and addicted to it all. Feeling like you have to show everyone everything you do because that’s what everyone else does – especially if you have any bit of competitive nature.

    I say, take a step back and reassess why you do it and what you get out of it. Think if there’s a better way to use it maybe? Revamp your social media use, make it work for YOU. Use it in ways that feel good to you, in whatever way, shape or form that is.

    • That was a really nice and thoughtful comment, Tara, thank you! I’ve been trying to figure out how I want to reframe my blog and my social media content. As yet I haven’t found a way. Things that irritate you or bring you stress or an unsettled feeling should be removed immediately where possible…..and I don’t know if I want even low-level irritation added back in. The downside to not blogging, of course, is that missing sense of community. In a way, given our culture, all I’m doing by not blogging is ostracizing myself….because many relationships these days are maintained via the written word whether it’s email or text or blogging. Blogging is definitely the quicker way to stay in touch. I’ll continue to mull for a while.

  3. I completely understand the feeling – I’ve blogged in a few places (alone and with friends) since 2008 and there are definitely ‘seasons’ for it – sometimes it’s incredibly enjoyable and you’re full of ideas and motivated to share them, and others when you’re happier just watching or even stepping away from an online community if/when it changes into something you don’t need or don’t like (been there). With my current blog, I decided from the start I wouldn’t put any pressure on myself re stats or a posting schedule, this impacts the number of people who read it, but I greatly value the people I have connected with through it.

    Social media is a whole other den of snakes! I try to have limits on use, but still sometimes find myself scrolling late at night. The tough thing is that as new forms appear, we need to keep establishing new rules for ourselves.

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