Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Third Time's a Charm.. Not So Much!

Well today is the third day with no Facebook.  I still feel the urge to share certain things with my online “friends”. I have felt, a lot at times, I should post this. I take some funny/cute pictures with friends and all that and think, I want to share this. In the past, when I had Facebook, I would have shared those things out of habit. Then, I would normally check back in later and read through a few dozen comments that people left.  Doing that normally, which I can't now, there would be a little bit more emotional reward in having that sense of connection. Without the option to impulse-share, like I would love to,  during this thirty-day immersion, I allow those feelings to come and go without acting on them. I have recently noticed that there is a consequence to sharing in real-time. I wasn’t being very present in the moment. While things are happening around me, today especially, I am off thinking about my online posse, and what I might wish to share with them. When I stop acting on the desire to impulse-share, I become more present to what I was doing in the moment. Instead of being distracted by thoughts of connecting with people at a distance, I do a lot better job of connecting with the people right in front of me. I feel more immersed in my experiences. It was definitely a subtle change at first, but it feels good now that I'm three days in to it. During these past two and a half days, I often feel obligated to share frequent updates with my online “friends”, some of whom I’d never met in person. If I didn’t post an update for a while, some would complain. If I shared something cool, people would thank me for it. Now that I’ve been rolling back and not posting, I can see what a dead end it’s been. I allowed social media to lead me to behave a certain way, but it’s not a conscious choice I would have made otherwise. So it’s nice to regain conscious control over this part of my life. Even after 30 days, the desire to impulse-share I fell will still be there, but it will grow fainter, replaced by a growing desire to “be here now,” fully present in what’s going on in front of me. I still like sharing, but it’s better to do so thoughtfully instead of impulsively, over social networking.

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