I feel there is this global conversation going. There are millions of ads coming at us, and then our friends are sharing bits of their lives, there is the good advice, rants and me, just floating along.
Every day, I have these moments where I learn something or I’m inspired. But I don’t want to abandon those moments to tweet or post about them. By the time I’m in front of a pc or have my phone, these experiences have informed me enough to be different, but I don’t have the energy to relive them and share… If that makes any sense.
In the past, I use to share pictures and quotes that informed my life, people “Liked” those. Other people criticized me for not being real. My life isn’t perfect, but I can’t imagine posting statuses complaining or being too personal. Plus, what is the purpose of talking about a problem? Unless you are asking for help, a solution or doing a monologue… I guess you could call Twitter or Facebook your stage. I’ll pass on that drama.
Now that I’m a published author, I’m constantly being advised and encouraged to promote myself. I’m told, promoting me means blogging, Tweeting and Facebooking. I’m told all these actions somehow will draw people to my book which translates into book sales. So I started marketing through social networks. Every day, I felt pressured to say something, anything. Most of the things I’ve shared recently haven’t sat right with my spirit.
The Twitter page I hardly checked now has a couple thousand tweets. I’m told to talk about anything; Twitter is all about your randomness. I’m actually pretty random and outgoing. In real life, I’ve never met a stranger. Still it feels weird, just speaking into a mic on a platform, while random people pass by hoping to say something so profound it’ll resonate and compel them to follow you, and even better, buy whatever you’re selling.
I’m overwhelmed by Twitter (and Facebook too at times) because I’m naturally disconnected. By disconnected I mean, I’ve romanticized the not so distant past when phones were only landlines in our homes. I hate being called any and everywhere, so I keep my ringer off. I hate that now no one is anywhere, we are all just breathing and waiting to be contacted so we can respond. Some of us sit blankly, stirring at our phones or scrolling Facebook. Once I got the Facebook and Twitter app on my phone, infinite numbers of people were sharing thoughts and pictures about experiences in real time. While not actually having the experiences.
As an act of rebellion, I continue to check my phone randomly, if at all, instead of always being “available.” “Availability” is an interesting word, when I consider how always being available would actually render me absent from my life, but I won’t get into that riddle.
By being naturally disconnected I mean, before my book came out, I would regularly go through periods of not looking at my phone, which caused me to misplace it often. I’d go sometimes three days and at times an entire week without touching it. On top of that, I would deactivate my Facebook page for months at a time because it felt like I was giving it more energy than I was getting back. I felt submerged in a very shallow pool.
Plus, it’s unnatural to be clicks away from 90% of everyone you ever met since birth… All this sharing: talking, texting, tweeting, messaging, posting pictures becomes a lot of noise. Honestly I get bored. Other times I’m overwhelmed. Sometimes I feel like I’m talking but no one is listening. Sometimes there are so many conversations going on I can’t keep up. Then you factor in the news, real life, random advice, people in your physical space, responsibilities and goals, it’s like Grand Central Station in my head.
Not to mention the guilt. I always feel like there is something else I should be doing or somewhere else I should be. I can rattle off a list of things that would better serve me as a person that I’m not doing because I’m Facebooking.
Sometimes, I get bored and disappointed thinking, “All these people and this is what they have to say?” I get bored and I get crazy. I say crazy things, that aren’t helpful. I say things that don’t leave people better informed, happier or inspired. Sometimes I share things that are inappropriate for such a large audience. Sometimes I’m wise enough to care and delete, other times I’ve chosen to let it ride because I’m tired of censoring myself. It’s a lot of thinking and too much talking…
So I’m letting go of the idea of using blogs, Twitter and Facebook as marketing tools. I’ll only share when I have something valuable to add to the larger conversation always going on. I’m praying for discipline. LOL! I’m praying and hopeful others will join me in silence, so we’re free to listen to those who actually have something valuable to share. I pray whatever I share will make someone smile, evolve, be encouraged, be inspired, be better informed, innerstand me or themselves better, feel loved, or help us to relate. I’m saying all this remembering that Egypt’s revolution began on Facebook. I pray we will all be more mindful and present in our lives, and more absent online.
Love and Light