Not long ago, I was cleaning out my closet and came across a container filled with pictures from the pre-digital camera phase of my life. There were pictures of my wedding, college graduation, honeymoon, first apartment, first house, my dogs in their puppy days, the second graders I taught, the kindergartners I taught, family gatherings, and life in general. A strange thought went through my mind as I strolled down memory lane with those photos. This is what life looked like back when I simply lived it.
Ever since I entered the world of social media, I have become more of an observer and narrarator in my life. These days I follow my friend's and family's activities on Facebook. It's a great way to stay updated on the happy stuff like vacations, weddings, new babies, and sad stuff like sicknesses and deaths. Calling seems unnecessary when even the most basic updates are just a click away. I've fallen into the habit of getting all of my information through Facebook, often without my loved ones even knowing I've seen their news.
As for the role of narrarator. I'm ashamed to admit how much time I spend each day in my head trying to think of a clever way to share what I'm doing or thinking in a status update. I am certain I miss a lot because I'm not focused on the experience I'm having but rather thinking about the best way to describe it.
Lately it has occured to me that the more time I spend connected to social media (for me it's mostly Facebook), the less connected I feel. In fact, lately I've felt quite lonely. Not only am I not deeply connecting with my "friends" but I am no longer connecting with the divinity within. It has become a form of escapism where I can avoid doing the work of my soul. My truest desire is connection, connection to other people and to God. That is what I'm here for.
I have decided to take a thirty day sabbatical from Facebook. I don't believe Facebook (and social media) is bad, in fact it has been extraordinary in bringing friends into my life from all across the world, but I think the way I have been using it has not been condusive to my peace and happiness. I believe it has become a tool I use to procrastinate in my creative work and to avoid full participation in my life. This is an experiment of sorts for me. My hypothesis is that if I remove the option to see what's new with my friends or tell Facebook what I'm doing, I will begin to pay attention to the present moment and what I am experiencing thus connecting at a deeper level to myself and the people around me. I also believe that I will free up space in my head for real creative inspiration to emerge. When I return to Facebook, because after all I value my friendships there, I plan to balance my time a little better so that I can have the best of both worlds-meaningful connections on the web and in real life.
What about you? Have you ever felt the need for a social media sabbatical? Have you taken the challenge? If so, how did it go?
Love and Light,
Learn more about the series, THE PAST LIVES OF LOLA RAY, at www.lesleehorner.com
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