finding “real life” in an online world
I didn’t have a cell phone until I was 19. Didn’t have an email address or my own computer until college. I spent half my life with none of the on-line world we have today. So I feel like I should be able to navigate my way through balancing both my regular person to person life and an online life. Most of the time I think I do great. I pride myself that if you met me in person you’d find the exact same person that I present online. Yet a couple months ago noticed I have this subtle empty feel. This feeling as if there is so much going on, I see my feed of my hundreds of artist friends out conquering the world and their beautiful work. In a weak moment it would leave me wondering if there is any room left for me? I intellectually knew better, of course there is. I would get just enough of a feeling of knowing what is going on with people around me that I forget to then actually follow up in real life with people outside of the my immediate family. Phone calls with friends were rare, extended relatives same thing. I missed just sitting and chatting with people face to face.
So the last month I have started taking control. I cleaned up my facebook. If I haven’t seen someone in the last year or so in real life then most likely I hid them from my news feed. Most of my artist friends, love their work but had to hide them for a bit. I started paying attention to people that when I would see their feeds I would notice a reaction in my body, either a little annoyance or defensiveness or anger. I made a conscious choice that I don’t want those people part of my daily life so I hid ’em. In real life same thing; I have too many fabulous, loving and uplifting people to spend my time around people that repeatedly drain my energy. The results are almost immediate and so freakin’ freeing! My next steps, less online time all together. I’m making it my summer goal to unplug much more. More coffee dates and park dates with friends. Feed my soul with actual human interaction. Keep my head down and just keep my eyes on my own work for awhile. I get my best creative ideas not from looking through the world for inspiration but from quieting down and listening. (The exact opposite of what my ego wants to do). I love the power that comes from very intentional, scheduled online time, just reading the blogs and updates of the people I choose. When I’m sitting at my daughters fastpitch games I will be mind, body and soul at her game. When I’m at the studio I’ll be 100% there. And best of all that leaves me being 100% here when I’m home with my kids and hubby.
I’d love to hear from any of you that have faced this challenge also. How have you handled it? Much love, Noelle