There’s a small table in the corner of the coffee shop that I like to sit at. My back faces the large floor to ceiling windows, but it allows me to face the rest of the shop. I can see everyone from that vantage point. I enjoy watching what seems like every walk of life come in and out, sit and talk, drink and read, laugh and whisper.
I started visiting several different coffee shops on a regular basis about a week after my social media hiatus. At first I thought that I was just bored, but soon realized that something else was stirring inside me. Was I lonely? It seems silly to think that Facebook or Twitter had such a big impact on my life. But it wasn’t until I quit using them that I realized what I thought was just a silly past time, was actually a social dependence.
I think each of us want to feel connected in some way. And, those of us that live alone and work remotely feel that need everyday. Which is why I think social media is so attractive to people like me. However, many things that are attractive can never be completely fulfilling. Cookies are awesome, but if they are all you eat you will eventually become malnourished. In the same regard, all of the amazing folks I have met online are so much fun to connect with, but it is the relationships that have developed into real world experiences that I treasure the most.
I came to this realization about half way through my 30 days, when I realized that the people I miss most on social media are the ones that I also have offline connections with. I think in a world where one can connect with almost anyone, it is extremely important to stay focused on the relationships that really matter. The ones that don’t need social media to survive, and are only enriched further because of it.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that social media is bad or detrimental, and I am definitely not going to quit using it. BUT I am coming away from this experience with a renewed sense of clarity. I can now see that my time, energy, and emotions need to be invested into things that are the most fulfilling. Things that enrich my life beyond tweets and status messages.
Which is why I started making more art and poetry over the last 30 days. I am excited to start sharing some of that with you all soon, but for now I will see you back on the interwebs, and yes that includes social media as well!