Monday, April 25, 2011
So picture this: it's a beautiful Sunday afternoon, you're out on a mid-day drive with your husband and your darling baby boy, the sun is shining through the trees, the perfect song comes on the radio...and the first thought that pops into your head is, "I need to tweet this."
Ugh. Really? Yes, really...if you're me. Embarrassing, right? This past weekend I had a realization that for how much I love my life, at times I don't put the "living" part first. I've talked about this before, but I didn't realize how much "tweeting" has become a part of my day to day until I decided to take a break from it. For the past two days I've restricted my internet use a bit, outside of blogging and sharing links to posts.
I left my iPhone behind while I nursed Henry.
I used my iPod shuffle rather than my phone as I worked out.
I didn't tweet every twitter-worthy thought that popped into my head.
I resisted the urge to share photos all day long via Instagram.
And you know what? I enjoyed it. I spent thirty minutes last night, rocking my baby boy to sleep, not trying to catch up on emails, reply to messages and multi-task while I fed Henry. I held him close, spent that uninterrupted time just thinking, noticing, relaxing. I zoned out at the gym, and in turn had a wonderful workout and was able to really focus on strengthening my body and clearing my head. I didn't find myself trying to "catch up" with my Twitter friends, or stay in the loop whenever I had a free minute. I was in the moment, rather than trying to capture the moment.
Now, I am definitely a fan of social networking, but (admittedly, embarrassingly), lately I've allowed myself to become too immersed in that world. It's always been a part of my life, and it is absolutely a large part of blogging, but as I reevaluate the purpose of "extras" that surround me, I find myself realizing that I am wasting precious, precious time over-sharing. I have the blogging part down pat- I manage this quite wonderfully and balance it well, but it's all the "other" sites that are just too much. I typically only use the internet while Henry is napping or asleep at night, but during this past two days I replaced all of that "free" time with reading good old-fashioned books, and I am so much happier. This is not to say I am going to quit any of my beloved sites. Truth be told, I adore Twitter, and especially Instagram, and I absolutely love the friends that I keep in touch with via those sites. However, moderation is key. I became aware of just how much I need that moderation when I held back from tweeting and various things popped into my head throughout the day that I had the "urge" to share. It's almost humorous (a bit sad, too!) if I was to list it all out, but for my own sake I'll keep all of those thoughts to myself. It makes me think though, what did I do with these thoughts before I had the gateway to funnel them out to a few thousand people? If I remember correctly, I kept them to myself (wow, what a notion!) or called Hank or a friend. One on one. Personal.
I guess my point is that I found myself enjoying life a lot more when I took a step back. I want to look at a beautiful flower and not think about taking a photo to upload to Twitter. If anything, I want to snap a photo and send it to my husband, and let him know how beautiful it was.
So, that's where I'm at. Still loving staying connected, still loving all of this glorious technology, but keeping it all in perspective. Using those sites to enhance my life, not become my life. Add to, not define. Being internet-savvy in this modern world has it's perks, but with that comes a responsibility to myself and my family to make sure I preserve the simple things in life, and keep myself in check.
Can any of you relate to this? I'd love to hear your perspective.