Yesterday I was at a birthday party and someone commented to me that they missed reading my blog posts and asked if I was still writing at all. I replied that I am absolutely still writing, I’m just not posting it.
I’ve been writing, but I’ve been doing it quietly. Much of my silence has to do with time and my former misuse of it. Some of it has to do with being tired of conflict and negative feedback.
Writers have feelings. GASP! I said it. And although I don’t expect everyone to agree with everything I have to say, I don’t need to be told every time I’m disagreed with. And it was becoming an issue, because let’s face it, usually we don’t give our feedback to people unless they have upset us in some way.
So I have climbed back into a writing shell. For now. Until I can find some way of writing without having to get so emotionally involved.
But there’s always more to the story…
I’m also not OK with wasting hours a day on my phone anymore. I’m not OK with spending so much time writing articles that get read by a few dozen and all too quickly forgotten. And I’ve realized that I’m far more content, patient, productive, alert and relaxed when I’m off social media. Simply put I’m a better parent when I’m not on Facebook.
I love socializing. Part of this contributes to my up-and-down involvement on social media. I’ve quit Facebook before, re-joined, only to quit again, re-join again… You get the picture – it gets old very fast. This time unlike the others, my exit from Instagram and Facebook was silent. No warning, no sappy post about my intentions or convictions. I just…left. I didn’t care to make a big deal about it. I didn’t care to get any attention because of it. And just like all the other times, I really felt so much relief after I made my decision. The only difference was that I actually deleted my account this time.
This time it’s for good.
Since quitting, I have had so much joy. I don’t ever wonder what’s going on in the internet world. I mean, I DO wonder about people – but then again, if I really care, I can call or text. It’s not like I’m moving to a deserted island with no communication to the outside world…
Please don’t misunderstand, in no way do I think all need to follow in my footsteps. Facebook is a tool, neither good nor bad, but as all tools it can be misused. And I was mostly misusing it.
I spent time reading articles on some random persons vacation plans rather than doing dishes.
I browsed the comment sections for hours, reading arguments of people I didn’t even know and scrolling through endless debates, only to get up in a worse mood than when I sat down to “rest”.
I told my kiddos to “just wait, I’m doing something important” while I posted a carefully worded paragraph about what God’s teaching me, when really I should be teaching my kids (they’re homeschooled).
Then I proceed to check for likes and comments every five minutes for the next 2 days. Sound at all familiar? So I quit it. And my parenting has gotten better.
Whoever is missing out from my absence online can be rest assured that my family is gaining from my presence.
There are people I miss when I think of Facebookland. I could name quite of few of them. But the one thing they all have in common is that I never really knew them before joining Facebook. And they never really knew me. If if there was a hint of friendship forming, there were no attempts by either of us to connect in real life.
One thing that has become abundantly clear after leaving Facebook is how I need real close friends in my life.
After a month of separation from the many people who I had come to know closely online, I’ve realized just how lonely I actually am without them. Facebook has done a tremendous job at masking how isolated our culture really is. So instead of longing to rejoin the online social world, my efforts have been channeled into finding these connections all around me.
Honestly it’s just so much more rewarding. I love being in the presence of real people.
So what’s to become of my blog?
I’ll continue to write, daily in fact – but I will not necessarily post my musings immediately. I will wait and sit on each post for a few days, proofreading cautiously, bringing authenticity, honesty, as well as sensitivity into my posts. I don’t want to be one who unnecessarily bulldozes down people and hurts them, even if what I have to say gets a larger reaction when delivered with a harder punch.
So keep on following, friends. I’m still here. Just quieter, gentler…and possibly a bit more joyful.