The alarming rate at which social media is growing — and, consequently, becoming an increasingly large part of our lives — has been a topic that’s been on my mind for the past couple of years. My perspective on it has waffled from being gung-ho/all in, to wanting to shut it off completely. Lately, more than ever, the scale has been tipping towards the latter.
*Before I go any further on this subject, I just want to say that I’m not here to get on a soapbox. Everyone has his/her own view on how they want to approach social media and blogging, and this is what I’ve decided that I need to do for myself.
Last week, when the new video platform, Vine, exploded out of nowhere and everyone jumped on the bandwagon, it made me take a giant step backwards and look at the whole social media situation. Before I’d even heard of this new app, I had been thinking how I need to put my phone down more, not look at Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. Generally feeling like I just need to unplug and get back to basics…like reading a book, making a nice meal and enjoying it (without having to Instagram it)…blogging a quality post without worrying if it’s pin-worthy — and feeling the need to link back to it via every.single.platform.
Seeing Vine catch on like wildfire just made me kind of sad for my generation. We are so absorbed into this digital world – myself included. I stopped to think about what I used to do with my free time pre-smartphone (it’s been about 3 years…so checking my phone is routine) — and I honestly don’t even remember what life was like before I documented everything! I am tired of feeling the pull to comment on what I’m doing, or share photos of life as it happens, or worry about getting “likes”…or even worse, feeling like I haven’t made my friends feel worthy/validated by “liking” their posts, etc.
When I first started a blog, about three years ago, all these social media outlets weren’t so deeply integral to the routine (in fact, for me, not at all). Blogs were the main platform. I’ve been thinking about how the conversation has moved off of the blogs onto Twitter, Facebook, etc. — and with it, the quality of posts. When you’re spreading yourself so thinly between all these various platforms, can you really appreciate a blog post for what it is — and moreover, what if we put all that time we’re spending tweeting and instagraming into a post? Of course, there are still blogs out there with amazing content. But I know that for me, a dip in quality (due to social networking) has been the case. I loathe feeling like I’m sucked into this ritual: blog the post, create a bit.ly link, tweet it, upload photo from post to Facebook and link it, pin it, instagram it, and then tweet it again in the afternoon for people who may have missed it earlier. That sounds pretty nuts when you write it out like that, doesn’t it? I guess for people who have made a business out of blogging, maybe that’s what it takes to keep a following and continued growth…but this is just my personal blog and I don’t know how I got sucked into all of it. Kinda scary.
The main point of me writing all this is to say: I need to back off of the social media. I can’t (and I don’t want to) do it anymore. I really just want to write my blog — and I want to spend all that time that I’ve been tweeting and whatnot actually creating. It’s a bittersweet decision for me, because I have made so many incredible connections with people via those outlets, but I feel that our friendships can definitely be continued through emails and hopefully, an ongoing and more engaging conversation on the blog. I don’t want to discontinue any relationships I’ve made (you lovely folks know who you are!), but I want to enrich my real life by being fully present in it, and not a slave to my iPhone. So long story short, I deactivated my personal Facebook account, and have no plans to update my blog FB account. I’m not going to be tweeting (so please don’t think I’m ignoring you if you’ve mentioned me – definitely not!) or Instagraming anymore. I think IG will be the hardest to give up, because I love taking photos. Instead of using that platform, I plan to share my personal photos on here. I’ve decided to keep Pinterest, because although it can be a time suck…I truly enjoy pinning, and haven’t felt negatively affected by spending time there.
I’m really looking forward to a new era for myself, hence the design I created above. I can’t wait to simplify my life, nurture my blog, create more quality things and engage with all of you right here. Thanks so much for reading this – and I hope you understand where I’m coming from. I look forward to chatting with you around these parts! :)