A few months ago, I announced to the world that I would be giving up social media for the entire 2019 calendar year. Well, friends, I’ve failed and you’re likely not surprised.
No, I wasn’t missing the comments, the likes or the feedback and I wasn’t missing the never-ending timeline refreshing and boredom killing. Certainly, I didn’t miss the immediate ego validation -although that was a tough one to get past.
I was missing reality
When I set out to free myself of the social media hold, I thought I could reconstruct an old reality. The reality of connection through speaking face-to-face with people, you know, just like the old days. I was hoping to recapture the magic of honesty, transparency and real emotion. Perhaps I could slow my world down a little bit so I could pick out inspiration from the pause.
Instead, my new reality just ticked people off
Because I was no longer on social media, my friends had to backtrack stories to help me catch up. I was out of the loop. Just to set the context of the story, they had to rehash verbally to me what they saw or wrote virtually. It’s hard enough to tell a story, but to do it telling supplementary stories to the one twit who decided to abstain from harmless social media? It didn’t take long before I was left behind.
The world moves fast; very few people have the patience for those who don’t move along with it. While I desired a reality of slowness, people around me wanted to keep up with speed -I was just a speed bump slowing them down. It didn’t take long before most stopped helping me catch up.
Pretty soon, I started losing grip of my vital friendships. Without their influence, both virtually and physically, I found myself lacking inspiration. Like a hermit living in the deep woods, my reality became a creation of one. Inspiration doesn’t go far when you solely inspire you.
I needed inspiration
I crave inspiration, so I’ve come back to social media. Instagram only. It was the one channel of friends that I perpetually felt inspired. Their pictures and micro-blogs always had a way of lifting me and pushing me forward, the same could not be said about Facebook or Twitter, which often drained me.
I have failed in my attempt to stay off social media for a year. It’s a bit embarrassing as I typically follow through on my goals. But what I’ve learned about myself and what I need from my friendships is far more valuable than to stick by my abstinence foolishly. With failure comes a lesson, a lesson that I would have never learned had I never tried.