I’m coming up on a month of having fasted from social media. Apparently I’m not as popular as I thought I was.. It’s kinda sad.
My phone is quiet all day unless I initiate a conversation with someone. I would almost even consider myself lonely. I sometimes find myself clicking through my phone looking for something to do, someone to interact with, and thinking of something witty and interesting to share with.... well, I guess myself.
Somehow, the comfort of immediate access to a person’s photo book, sporadic thoughts, and reposts of the things they like and/or find interesting make us feel connected to them -- until you see that person on the street and they hardly recognize you..
Truth is, a lot of us are “lonely”
We think we’re connecting with people but often we’re not. We tend to only know the things about people that they allow us to assume with the images and words they put out
I’m not all anti-social media, don’t get me wrong. It definitely has a lot of benefits! I’ve connected with some great people and have randomly made friendships with others whom I’d met because of a good hash tag and similar interests..
It’s a great tool, but in my absence from it, I’ve become blatantly aware of how much we abuse this tool. We keep it from doing the thing it was initially intended for. Connecting.
I sometimes have to redirect conversations now - saying things like, “let me take your number instead”
I find myself explaining why I don’t have social media - the concept is so foreign to our generation..
As an artist I understand the need for social media and how it expands my brand and allows people access to my craft, but aside from that, it just seems like a good way to distract us from what we are actually trying to achieve, a genuine connection with people with whom we would like to know better.
I have to work extra hard to connect with others now - make the initial point of contact - and in a brand new city where I’m starting over to make friends, its a bit awkward to reach out to someone I hardly know - it’s like dating without sex as a potential incentive...
But I can see how not having social media allows me to come into these new relationships with no preconceived notion of who that person is! No images to create my own personal assessment of how “cool” that person is. No choice quotes that “define their character”, no knowledge of them aside from what they choose to share with me in person… It’s as if the rose tinted frames have been removed. And without the constant reminder of my existence, I have truly learned who my real friends are. Who cares far beyond my posts and statuses. It's allowed me to separate the acquaintances from the friends and the potential business partners. That may seem negative, but it is allowing me to simplify my life.. I almost don't want to go back..
But realistically, I know what social media is doing for my brand.
So I guess I’ll go back.. Sigh..
It’ll be nice to be reintegrated into the world, I suppose. I have been so beautifully out of the loop.. For now, I’ll continue to enjoy the last of this journey and use it as it was intended… to truly connect and focus..