I released my first tweet into the world at the beginning of 2018 and since that moment have been sucked into the social media rabbit hole (Yes, I know I'm lame). As I've been promoting my book, I have finally realized that keeping up with social media is exhausting. There is always something to tweet, snap, post on IG, share on FB or read on XYZ. I just made that last one up and am deciding that it means blogs, forums & misc social platforms I don’t know about. And, no, I don't want to know if there is an actual acronym for these. I would prefer to live in my happy bubble of cleverness, thank you very much.
With all of this tweeting and selfie-snapping, it's easy to become immersed in a world of self-aggrandizing and virtual friendships. It's also undeniably apparent that I am utterly suseptible to it.
Excuse me while I see who just followed me on Twitter.
Where was I? Hm. That’s the other pitfall. It’s so incredibly distracting.
But let's be honest, we are a species that craves exciting events and relationships that peak our curiosity and pander to our ego. If that weren’t part of our mental framework then social media would not be the giant that it is today. The downside is that many of us can become so immersed in this virtual playground that we tuck our proverbial turtle heads into our shoulders and miss the realities around us.
So there needs to be a balance.
After all, I must be truthful and say that I really like to share news, pics and quips with the world and make connections, distant though they may be. To find my own balance, I need to be mindful of my online interactions and put the phone down (it’s only for a little while baby...ha ha). At times, I even have to tell myself to log off when I’m at home so that I am present. It’s all too easy to get lost in the ether and find that the evening has flown by at ludicrous speed* and nothing has gotten done.
Obviously, social media is not going away and can be a wonderful tool to stay informed, promote your book(wink wink), have dialogues with people and share interests across the globe. But don’t forget everything that’s around you. Take time in the day to disconnect and just be in the moment.
I read a wonderful book a few years ago that spoke of the impact of stopping what you’re doing, for twenty seconds, and just looking at the world around you. How often do we cease to see the landscape we pass by each day? If you stop and look for less than a minute, you will see something new. That may simply be a red tailed hawk soaring over your head that wasn’t there yesterday or perhaps something more profound. Twenty seconds. It’s a simple enough thing, and one that may quickly lead to long bouts of laying on the grass and just looking and listening to the incredible array of life surrounding you. Maybe you could even snap a picture of it and spread the word, thereby merging two distinctly different forms of interaction!
Always remember you are part of this world. Everything the human race has ever experienced, as a species, has happened right here, on our little, blue planet. You are part of that history, so go out and enjoy it. In real time.
* If you got that reference, you’re my kind of person!