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.