I’ve been asking myself a lot of heart questions, gauging if I am meeting my own standards of excellence and cultivating a meaningful life. Am I working out as much as I want to? No. Am I reaching out, leaning into awkward, or connecting with people as much as I want to? No. Am I eating healthful foods, drinking water, or respecting the body I have been given as much as I want to? No. Am I bettering myself, challenging myself or improving myself as much as I want to? No. Am I practicing my artistic talents to move forward with someday being able to profit off of my writing and art as much as I want to? No. Am I nourishing my heart and taking care of my spiritual health as much as I want to? No. I have made a lot of progress this year, but there is something that holds me back that makes me feel sad, depressed and unfulfilled. The overwhelming sense of “not enoughness” has kept me discouraged and disheartened.
So what’s the cause?
Wasting away on social media. Especially Facebook. I spend hours—hours—of my day refreshing the same soul sucking program. I live for those little red flags that light up my notifications all day long. Easily 100 of them. But if you track them, 99% of them would not even pertain to me. They provide no connection with the people I care about. They don’t bring that feeling of closeness I’m searching for. They don’t cultivate those positive relationships I’ve been seeking. They’re absolutely pointless. They’re network marketing group name change notifications. Invites to online party after party. So-and-so from the random group I’m only somewhat interested in letting me know a stranger has made a post I’ll never read. I’ve tried to unsubscribe and unfollow these impersonal notifications, but while they have been culled for certain—it’s been hard to beat the hydra. Cut one, two more pop up in its place.
Additionally, my newsfeed has been taken over by reposts. It’s not even about our personal lives anymore. They’re the Tasty videos of food I’ll never make. Inflammatory, poorly researched “political articles” that don’t back up their outlandish claims with the original source they’re referencing. They’re the self righteous, passive aggressive “Friendly reminder…” posts that scream “make me go viral” not “make the world a better place.”
Beyond just the content, it leaves me feeling like I am not enough. Like I’m unloved, unworthy and unwanted. I see the outings I’m not invited to, being reminded I haven’t done anything with friends for weeks. It’s the weddings I’m not invited to even though I thought we were close. It’s that reminder of not getting “I love this girl!” friend tagged posts. It’s feeling perplexed about why the person I thought I connected well with denied the friend request or deleted me, making me wonder what it is about me that offends them enough to cut me out or keep me at a distance even though we run in the same circles. It’s that feeling of being sad, but still somehow spending hours a day refreshing the same, stupid page.
You might be saying “Girl, it’s just Facebook, why do you even care that much? Get over it.” And you’re right—it’s not healthy. It’s not productive. But it’s the nature of an extrovert who feels lonely easily, who wants to feel connected with others in a world no longer built for that. It’s the crippling anxiety I try to beat but have yet to conquer. Which is why I’m here, slamming out this post on the holiday weekend instead of lounging by the pool.
I’m not saying goodbye, but see you later.
So it’s time to fast, sort of, to take a step back and reset my heart. I’m setting a countdown alarm on my phone—60 minutes—that I reset everyday that will place a limit on my time here. I’m not going full stop because it’s just impossible to connect with everyone thanks to distance, time and schedules. but I need to use my time wisely and if you go look at that “battery usage” section of my iPhone, you’ll see I spend hours upon hours a day here. Six days with four hours of usage adds up to one whole day of time used that doesn’t even make me feel fulfilled. I’m placing a limit rather than a complete black out because as much as I hate it, it’s often the only way I do generate blog views (thanks y’all! You were readers before it was cool). It’s the only way I’ll see your baby grow up, hear about your new job, or hear your bad news. It’s just simply impossible to see everyone I want to see and catch up with who I want to catch up with. I want to use what time I do allow myself to have to be intentional and add value to my life.
One of my July goals is to step back from my online identity and refocus. Instead of endless refreshing, I will be:
- Texting you to ask how your day has been rather than reading your post about it.
- Asking you to grab lunch, come over for coffee, take a walk to catch up, going to things together.
- Leaning into awkward and asking for help even when it might be easier to take care of it myself.
- Reading, working out, following my creative passions, nourishing my spirit, serving, loving others well.
- Being present with who I am with, not focusing on other things. Seeing your eyes, not my screen.
- Listening to podcasts, conquering my to do list, building our new house into a warm loving home.
July will be an interesting month and I am excited to use it well in a way I have never been able to do. So, don’t be surprised if I try to engage more personally. It’s way, way, way out of my comfort zone to initiate. To be the first one to reach out, to open up or be vulnerable. To not wait for relationships to grow themselves and come to me, but to make the effort.
If this speaks to your heart, and you want to join hands and support each other on this journey together to use our lives in a better way, I’d love to hear from you and connect.