Coffee, Clarity, and Art.

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! :)

Comments

  1. Joe, you are braver than I to stay away from social media for a month. But, I totally agree about the need for human contact. I’ve worked from a home office for years now, and nearly every day I start out for an hour or two at a coffee shop. And, I find I tend to prefer not the nearly empty one that would be great for concentration, but rather the lively shops with plenty of traffic and people. Even when I’m head down writing and not actually interacting, the presence of other people seems to have a positive effect on my mood.

    Someday I’ll replicate your SM experiment, Joe, and see what other self-insights develop!

  2. Anthony Pensabene says:

    ‘it is extremely important to stay focused on the relationships that really matter’ – i think that is keen, dude.

    I, lately, have been a bit jaded in using social media and toward SEO space, and I believe it’s mostly related to my intuition that there are a lot ‘bullshitters,’ out there. Obviously, that is subjective, but i’m a sensitive person who gains strength from my ‘support team’ of real friends. It’s mentally taxing to attempt to give and not get…in many corners of life.

    I have made great relations (online) with incredible people, some I finally get to meet in ‘real life.’ I guess to quickly try to make this relate to marketing in my own way, maybe the 80/20 rule applies to social media relations as well.

    I believe a lot of brands can do better by embracing their advocates and identifying a threshold of being (as you stated) a bit socially dependent on the reception and engagement of others.

  3. It makes me happy that even though you took a 30 day social media hiatus I still got to hear from you. It was confirmation that we are IRL friends. I am glad you are back on the Twitterz.

  4. Mindy Taylor says:

    Was wondering where you have been friend! Well done on the hiatus!

  5. welcome back :)

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