This is what happened…
On Friday 10 days ago I deleted Instagram + Facebook off my phone. We needed a break to reestablish new boundaries. Sometimes relationships change, you know… we needed some space.
I didn’t share that moment the barista had changed my order name and when my matcha frappe came out “Bonita” (beautiful) was called out loudly across the cafe. And it made me smile.
Or that note that I received from a friend I’ve never met who thanked me for the voice messages I had left her which carried her through some of her darkest times. And how my heart swelled that I could do that for someone.
Nor the way the ocean licked at my feet when I walked along the beach at sunset and made me feel grateful to be alive.
Or the tears I cried over the 9 months of poetry scribbled in a red-bound notebook that I typed up into a google doc. Words that are the semblance of a journey of heartbreak, loss, love, passion, lust, redemption, freedom and new beginnings.
Nor about the nuclear family of Mexican spiny-tailed tailed iguana that I look out at from my sofa as I tap, tap, tap away at my keyboard while they sun themselves on my neighbours roof every day.
And while I deeply appreciate the way I get to connect with you day after day across miles and oceans and time zones. While I love that I have deep friendships with people who I’ve not yet met in the flesh, and deepened those with the ones I have. Sometimes I feel a little bit tired of the rapidity. Of the constant flow of information, inspiration and direction. Sometimes it feels a bit like a one night stand. Instant gratification without the lingering and savouring.
After 5 years of showing up almost every day and sharing, and giving and proffering I want to start doing things a little bit differently. Slower. I’m not exactly sure what that will look like yet. Maybe a weekly roundup. Maybe something else. Maybe just showing up if and when I really really feel like it, and not because I need you to remember that I exist.
I’ve been feeling frustrated by…
How distracting I’ve let it be… chasing the instant dopamine hit to receive recognition for a full day’s work or how I would use it as a crutch when I craved a sense of connection and feeling understood or heard.
That I let it make me kind of lazy — instead of doing real PR and building connections in more traditional ways — expecting social media to carry me through to the next level of growth that is part of building any business.
The thing with social media is that as soon as I’ve shared something it’s not mine anymore. Which is fine. It was never mine, to begin with. But then it’s owned by someone else. Corporations who use my creativity to run their own business. Without all of our content, they would be nothing. And if they disappear, much of my business — about 60% of my income — that rely on the connections I have with you on social media, would be nothing too.
On Wednesday morning — 5 days after I deleted the 2 apps off my phone — I woke up, stretched, pottered around the house and then realised I had not thought about checking social media once yet. It took 5 days for the urges akin to those of an addict to pick up my phone for a quick dopamine hit to subside. That visceral compulsion to pick up my phone had softened if not completely erased. I felt like a recovering junkie.
The following Friday — a week without both Facebook and Instagram — except for a tiny bit of work in a Facebook group accessed from my laptop, I had grown comfortable with the delicious expanse of space and time not diving into those online spaces left me with. The amount of time I spent on my phone had halved. I felt holy and purified.
I decided that there’s another way…
I will come back and continue to use both Instagram and Facebook but intend to so more systematically and deliberately. They are incredible resources in this information age that we live in. What is important is how I do it, not what I do.
I am doing more actual writing, writing that has longevity, here on my blog. And I will keep reminding you to come to visit me here.
I want to invite you to sign up for my newsletter. Every 10 days or so, sometimes (but rarely) more, sometimes less I write a note and send it to your emails (remember that dinosaur?). It contains the stories that you don’t read on social media, vulnerable touching stuff that doesn’t make it into the public spaces. And links to any articles I’ve written or new things I’m doing or creating.
If Instagram and Facebook (in the event of an apocalypse perhaps?) ever died, it would be the only way I could keep in touch with you.
Hand to my heart: it’s never pushy or marketing-y or sales-y (because I hate and unsubscribe from those emails too). In fact, the number of times I say “no” to partnership requests because I don’t like the way they promote themselves is… well, often. Weekly at the least. Because I don’t want to put you through that. The idea of it makes me cringe.
Plus, you get access to all the free things… I have free meditations, a self-hypnosis recording, a recipe book I once wrote, a course valued at $200 that is now retired, e-books of all sorts and so much more, waiting for you behind a password-protected door. My point is if you also want to slow down, if you want to stay connected without having to stay engaged in the rapid social media race, I’d love to send you my emails instead. It’s a sweeter way to stay connected (IMO).
And perhaps we can navigate the way we move forward from here, together. I’m sure there’s another way.
Image found on Pinterest via Urban Outfitters
Around here, we do things a little differently...
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