The below is simply an explanation of my own issues with social media in general. It in no way is passing judgement on anyone in particular – it is just describing what makes me very uncomfortable about the direction of social media and certain SM outlets.
B and I seem to be rather in tune with each other when it comes to detoxing our lives. We talk quite often about the “noise” in our lives that interferes with our happiness. We talk about toxins that go into our bodies and how to best avoid them. We talk about the good things we’ll do to help detox our lives of all sorts of poisons and interference.
Moving into the Paleo lifestyle again was one of our joint efforts in detoxing our lives. When we do these things together, we are more successful. B tried going Paleo in January and I wasn’t there yet (I was still loving McDonald’s too much – truly) and it just didn’t work for him. When I came to him a few weeks ago and said, “it’s time for me to do Paleo again,” he was beyond thrilled. He asked me how serious I was, and I said, “very.” That’s all he needed to hear. Since that discussion, I’ve only spent 3 days off track and am doing better than he is (it’s not a competition, but I know I’m doing well when I’m sticking to something better than he is because he is darned good at sticking to things). The Paleo lifestyle has become so easy for me that I’m not logging my food intake anymore. I just know what to do – and how to get to my target of 1850 calories a day. It’s easy.
I stick to it. And I feel good. I feel clean.
Feeling this good in body makes me want to feel that good in spirit as well. This brings me back to my opening paragraph. B and I talk about toxins in our daily lives quite a bit and we know what types of things are poisons to me. It is very obvious to him and myself when negative energy is around me. I’m just… different. He hasn’t said anything at all lately about any negative energy, but I can feel it, which means that he can feel it. If he can feel it, can Matthew feel it too? One has to wonder.
One of the things that B and I have established as a major toxin in my life is gossip. This is why I can’t talk to my mother very often. Honestly. All she wants to do when I call (or visit) is talk negatively about other people, and she just goes from one topic to the next with very few positive things to say. It drives me crazy and makes me feel dirty. I am like any woman who enjoys a good chat – and yes, a good gossip session – but I don’t enjoy it all the time. I don’t like hearing about the ghastly things people I hardly know have done or said. I don’t like hearing about how un-cute my mom thinks someone’s child is. I don’t like being reminded of how negative my mother is. I don’t like thinking, “if she talks like this about so-and-so, what is she saying about me when she talks to others?” In all fairness, I don’t think my mom likes talking to me much either, because I usually chime in and say, “I don’t agree – I don’t think she meant it that way,” for example when she’s going off on something someone said to someone she knows that she didn’t hear first hand. 😉
So I just don’t talk to her much. And I feel good. I feel clean.
Another thing that we have noticed to be a serious toxin in my life is, what I feel, the “arrogant” behavior of others. I will read something online and tell B all about it when he comes home, and I’ll explain why what I read upset me so much. Faceb.ook is one of these things that can trigger lots of irritation in me. I hate FB – I always have. I think, for the most part, FB is used by people to make their lives seem much more awesome than they really are. There is nothing more irritating (to me) than someone posting some cutesy little anecdote in an attempt to gain attention. Or how about the vague posts that are meant to pique the readers’ interest in hopes that they’ll ask leading questions, again in an attempt to gain attention? Or, one of my favorites, the posts that toot the person’s own horn for something so incredibly irritating, that I can’t move past it soon enough? I often joke that FB was created for people who want their lives to appear shiny and fresh – and admirable – to all of their 5,000 “friends.”
I am on FB, but I’ve taken a hiatus or two because it just got to be too much. I’ve noticed that it’s not near as bad as it used to be, but there are still those posts that make me want to run far, far away for a very long time. I post photos to FB for my family and friends – and that’s about it. It’s the only way my family gets to see Matthew growing up. Beyond that, unless there’s some public awareness item I rarely post (like Keiko’s post the other day on Personhood), status updates don’t come from me much. I like it that way. I enjoy seeing everyone’s photos very much on FB – I really do – but status updates about what you made for dinner, or how awesome you are at your job (yes – I have seen these from “friends”), or how talented your kid is because he stood on one leg today – I don’t enjoy seeing that.
So I take FB in stride and only read updates when I’m in the mood. And I feel good. I feel clean.
I have noticed that Twitter has become a toxin in my life. Where FB is where people go to glorify their lives, I am noticing that Twitter is where they seem to go to vent all sorts of frustrations, big and quite small. I am not the type of person who likes knowing and reading those things. I don’t like reading complaints about marriages, or siblings, or parents, or friends. I don’t care what people put on Twitter, but I don’t want to “consume” it. I stayed away from Twitter for years because I just didn’t “get it” (and maybe I still don’t!). When I started blogging, I assumed that ‘Twitter was where it’s at’ and I wondered if I should give it a try. B encouraged me to try it out, saying it could be fun.
So I tried it.
And I’m over it.
Just like FB, Twitter is affording me a view of people that I don’t necessarily want to see. And I feel nosey reading it. There are so many posts that I don’t think should be out there – there are things being shared very publicly that people wouldn’t even share with me if we ran into each other at Starbu.cks. Posts about family being assholes (and believe me, my family is capable of being assholes, as am I!). Posts about fights that are currently happening with a spouse (and believe me, B and I can fight like cats and dogs too). Posts about other people’s TTC efforts not belonging to the author of the tweet (what, what, what? But wait – I actually did this once). I just think that some things should still be sacred and if those things are shared (which is perfectly OK), they should be shared with a limited audience – and maybe best in person or via phone.
What I’m seeing on Twitter sometimes is making me view people differently than I’d like to view them. I do think this is very much my own issue – how I want to view people doesn’t translate to how people should (or do) want to be viewed. I just like having positive images of people in my mind. If I’m going to hear about their fights with their spouse, family, friends, etc., I’d rather hear it in person or via phone than read it on twitter. If it’s something that the person wouldn’t share with me personally, then I feel dirty reading it on social media outlets of any kind.
So I deactivated my Twitter account. And I feel good. I feel clean.
I feel like my little detox effort is going to pay off in spades. My body feels good. My mind will feel good. I spent way too much time reading Twitter updates. I could have been spending that time with Matthew doing something fun and constructive for him. When I think of all the time I’ve wasted in the mornings, especially, reading Twitter while he’s played by himself, it breaks my heart. And let’s face it – I was one of the LEAST active Tweeps out there – so I can’t imagine the real time suck it would have been if I had really been into Twitter. It became a bit of an addiction and for what reason, I’ll never know. Maybe I didn’t want to miss out on anything. Maybe I was sickeningly drawn to other people’s drama. Maybe I wanted to have an instant connection to others whenever I felt the need. I don’t really know. What I do know is that it’s not good for me at all. It was time to step away.
I gave it a try. I didn’t like it. And I learned that Twitter, most certainly, is not where it’s at for me!