Social Media Fast Update

Halfway into my 60-day no social media fast and I’m starting to see privacy and engagement with others in an entirely different lens. Growing up as part of the last generation to know what life was life pre-Internet, pre-cellphones, pre online social media, I think I look at the world in a completely different way than generations after me will only be able to conceptualize.When I first began this fast, I had one intent in mind: to stay more present. It’s no secret and you’re probably tired of hearing me ramble on about the notion of presence in my life. But this fast is starting to reveal things to me that I’d never even thought of when I first signed up for an AIM account.

I was watching some series on YouTube and in it, one woman, instead of simply asking another woman for her number, instead asked for her Instagram handle. My first thought was, ‘are we really doing this right now?!’ It brought me back to days when guys would ask for my AIM instead of my number. Part of it feels lazy.

When you connect to someone’s social media, you get a sneak peak into their world – I say a sneak peak because not many choose to show their entire lives via social media. And this ‘sneak peak’ can kill the mystery of things.

What good is it to catch up with someone if you already scrolled through their Instagram photos from the weekend?

What good is it to discuss if they’re making progress on making their dreams come true if every Facebook status keeps you up to date?

I’m not arguing against social media – I think it definitely can have its’ benefits but sometimes I wonder if the benefits outweigh the shortcomings.

Specifically, what now constitutes a private life? It used to be to know the status of a couple you’d ask one person in the relationship or hone into the grapevine to see if anyone has said anything.

Now, a person’s relationship is for public eyes whether it’s a new relationship with photos in Dubai, a first Valentine’s together, or even a breakup where inspirational quotes seem to hit your feed every few minutes, it’s as if now instead of seeking out information, we have to block it.

I’ve noticed that I haven’t missed any important news since the first day of my fast. I mean, sure, I’ve missed out on the latest celebrity gossip, but it’s become more evident to me what information is actually meaningful for my life.

And oh what a joy it is to actually not know something.

Seriously.

I now have conversations with my friends where they catch me up first-hand on what’s the latest tea as opposed to Instagram shoving it into my face for me.

I have friends asking, “Have you heard about such and such,” and I can honestly say no and we can dive into a conversation that otherwise would have been cut short had I already known.

I can now date someone and genuinely have to spend the time getting to know him without trying to expedite the process by scrolling through his social media feed resulting in a false sense of who this person is.

I think we can sometimes forget to take social media with a grain of salt.

I don’t know exactly what it is that deters us from sharing not only the good in life, but the struggles as well.

I also don’t know why we feel compelled to share every single good moment.

Why can’t we just live in a moment as opposed to trying to capture it?

Maybe some moments don’t need capturing and instead just need living.

There’s freedom in just being, instead of worrying about the best angle, the best lighting, and the best filter for a photo.

I don’t know what will be the outcome of this fast – I may decide to fast for another 60-days, I may quit social media once and for all.

Social media may be a hindrance to the live I’ve always envisioned having. After all, how encouraging is it to see couples getting engaged – when you’re still single, acquaintances being promoted – when you still don’t know what you want to do for a living, or others having traveled to 5 countries within one year where I'm just trying to make it to Thailand?

I’ve been told, “comparison is the stealer of joy.”

And I see now that I can wear outfits twice never fearing someone will notice in a photo (this is simply ridiculous!), I can actually hold conversations without using my phone apps as a crutch, and I can genuinely start to see who people are as opposed to a veil they’ve draped on social media.

If I learned all this within just a month of no social media, I'm ecstatic to see the lessons I'll have learned in the next 30 days.

I Didn't Want Him, I Wanted A Relationship

"I need to have plans, so when he does asks me 'how was your day?' I'll have something interesting to say. He reflected what I wanted my life to look like - working with young professionals, living in LA, a farmer's market within walking distance, traveling frequently, having participated in a marathon, just what perceived to be a well-balanced life. And when I saw him, I saw what I lacked. I feared I wasn't interesting enough. That I wasn't funny enough.

And I wanted so badly for a relationship to occur with this person who I had manifested. I made a list, proclaimed it to the Universe, and let God workout the details. And within a couple of weeks, there he stood. The epitome of what I said, what I had written, what I was convinced, I wanted.

I thought I was clear. I thought I was in the best place I could be to receive love. I loved who I was - I finally was a peace with my body and how my life was unfolding or so I thought.

I work full-time, I workout 5 days a week, I have an optimistic outlook on life, I've left baggage behind and my arms were wide open for love.

In my mind, I was ready.

But not soon after this 'wonderful man' appeared in my life and we started dating, all the insecurities I thought I had dealt with, all the baggage I thought I had dropped years ago, came rushing at me all at once and I couldn't understand why I kept replaying thoughts in my head that I did not deserve him.

He represented to me what a good man looked like. And this resounding "You don't deserve a good man unless you work for it," left me exhausted and confused. Anxiety started becoming my best friend and I couldn't console myself because I had no fcuking clue what it was I was dealing with.

I couldn't understand for the life of me why this person I barely knew triggered emotions I had forgot I even felt before.

I felt like when he met me, I showed up as myself and as we continued to interact, I crumbled to pieces of what I was.

I couldn't enjoy any of my life - and I pushed myself to do 'interesting things,' like running in the fcuking rain just so I had something 'interesting to say.'

I cared more about what he thought of me than my own sanity.

But, I started viewing him as my last hope for a relationship.

Eventually I went to a therapist and started undoing the layers of emotion that became a keeper from my usual happy self.

And because at the time a relationship to me meant I'd have somebody to:

  1. Try new restaurants with
  2. Go to concerts with
  3. Travel out the country with
  4. Spend my Fridays with - oh how I've spent so much time hating being home on Fridays
  5. Just have somebody

Because a relationship represented the potential to take my life to a level I've always envisioned where every day is a new adventure I clung to what I saw with this guy.

He was a placeholder. I wanted the idea of him. I didn't want the present moment with him.

The present moment sucked. Trying to hide my insecurities and constantly thinking of ways to keep him interested was not how I envisioned the first stages of a relationship with someone but because I despised spending Fridays, because I wanted to go to this concert, because I wanted to take cute photos in an antique shop and post them on Instagram, I told myself to stick it out.

I told myself "continue to work with your therapist. Put on a brave face to mask your uneasiness because one day soon, you'll finally have someone to do all the things you've dreamt of doing but never had someone to do it with."

And so I stuck it out. Never at peace - trying to run away from myself. "When did I become this?" I thought. Feelings of inadequacy haunted me.

My heartbreak was about losing what I thought I would have with him. Even today I can't say I truly knew him.  I can't say if we had a connection or if I was so smitten with the idea of him that I dismissed whether or not I really liked him.

Two weeks ago I was grappling with the depression stage of heartbreak. Choosing between hopelessness and possibly being heartbroken again were my only two options I saw. I've since chosen a third option: me.

Just a few days I ago, I began unraveling what it is I really want and continuously meditating on the statement, "Life is happening for me, not to me."

Now, I'm not so focused on wanting a relationship. I'm focused on me and improving me. Should a guy come along that has both passion and the qualities I like, I won't be afraid to give it a shot but always keeping in my mind that I don't need a relationship to truly enjoy life. A relationship should be the cherry on top of a cake that I'm already enjoying by myself.

Falling Off the Horse (aka Contacting the Guy Who Broke Your Heart)

I am not perfect. And I'm still finding the balance between admitting my weaknesses and treasuring my strengths. Last night, I fell off the wagon/the horse whatever, look I just fell. But with Jill Scott's Pandora radio station playing in the background I am actually sitting with peace.

I used to classify certain behaviors as crazy and childish but I've since grown wise to the idea that what others may call crazy, I call passion. I've had my not so pretty moments but who hasn't?

Who hasn't done something, knowing regret would be awaiting them, and still went thru with it? And who hasn't done that over and over in their life?

I am not perfect.

Last night, I was out with friends having had one too many shots of sochu and all the emotions bubbled over. I texted him, and you know what it could have been worse. I could have got in my car, driven to his place (as I still have his address memorized *sigh*) and banged on his door demanding attention. I could have called him nonstop. I could have texted him nonstop. But I didn't.

Instead, I found myself squatted on the pavement tearfully telling my friend of how I was done with love.

I can be a walking contradiction at times. Here I've stated on many occasions that I don't believe in living with regrets. I've stated that everything happens for a reason and I'd like to think that more times than not, I take on a victor's, not victim's mentality.

But last night I couldn't take it. I was hysterical and proclaimed that I had given up on love. I regretted even giving this guy a chance and started questioning if love was worth the pain it brings. "I just want to be numb" I stated. "I want to be indifferent because being the one who cares first results in me always losing."

I felt tired - no exhausted with what I perceived as constant heartbreak with no real rewards.

Yeah sure, out of each heartbreak comes a lesson but sometimes I question why did I really need to learn this or that? Or rather why did I have to lose this person to learn this or that lesson? Why couldn't they stay with me on my life journey as I learn the lesson? If people only enter our lives to leave us with lessons, then I don't want anybody else entering my life.

I know that no one will be in our lives permanently. And sometimes the only person that can catch us when we fall is ourselves - by picking ourselves up and getting back on the horse.

Maybe that horse is life and sometimes it becomes a bull - untamed and having no desire to be controlled.

Maybe life simply wants to be lived without resistance and instead with acceptance.

As I walk on this journey I bring with me the constant reminder that life is happening for me not to me.

Last night all I could see was what I lacked. All I could see, all I felt, was life happening to me.

There's a fine line between interchanging the word "for" with "to."

In seeing life as happening for me, I'm able to be free and rest assured that whatever happens, has happened, and will happen is for me.

In seeing life as happening to me, I become the victim. I'm the bull rider without control and trying so hard to tame that which is not to be tamed by nature.

Pain inevitable. Suffering is optional. - Unknown

Life will continue to have its' uncertainties. I will have my good days, my bad days and I will have my joyous moments. I will have my lows where I don't see the light at the end of tunnel but I think - I think as long as I keep hope as my best friend and continue to hop back on the horse, I'll be able to face whatever life tosses my way - choosing to catch it, drop it, or toss it right back.