When I decided to take an extended break from social media, I knew there would some lessons learned. Whenever something which is such a part of your daily life is removed, a real detox that has to take place. And in the midst of the cleansing, you see spaces, once covered by the dust of neglect, for what they are.
I am constantly running status updates and tweets through my head. Some are clever. Some are meant to be profound and some funny. It’s a totally new phenomenon. Previous to joining facebook 4 years ago, there was no such outlet and therefore no need for these brief expressions to escape.
But now? It’s constant. And I admit I do miss it all just a little. I miss reading other people’s status’ and seeing what all is going on. I miss the interaction. A little.
But now there is an alternate new “thing” I would have never expected. I knew the desire to update facebook and Twitter would be a strong one. But this new strange enjoyment has caught me by surprise.
This enjoyment is in keeping it all to myself.
So here is how it all unwinds. Something happens, either externally or internally. The habitual, reflexive need to tell it to everyone in social media wells up from within. Then I remember, “I am not doing this.” And from somewhere comes this satisfying feeling of keeping the thought to myself. Not every time, do I feel this way. But it has happened enough.
I wondered if it was hoarding, the first time I took notice of the joy I was feeling. But no, it feels more like taking care of something precious. Actually this has the ring of – now don’t anyone get their feelings hurt – of throwing my pearls before swine.
It’s not that my friends on facebook and my followers on twitter are “swine” in the negative sense of the word. They just cannot appreciate the value some these thoughts have for me. Thoughts which social media have told me should be shared with anyone and everyone at all times. Before the social media revolution, this idea of our thoughts being as valuable as pearls, would have made sense.
But now? It’s constant. And contrary to the urge to post something, which is dark and constricting, keeping it all to myself has the feel of being open and airy. OK, I know that sounds bizarre. But I cannot put it in words. Perhaps I should have just kept that last part to myself.