About 8 months ago I stepped back into America and since, my life has been anything but dull. In this time I’ve completed another semester of school, started working, taken 3 trips to the mainland, endured family deaths, recovered from foot surgery and ran another marathon (more on this later).
Writing has always been a consistent outlet for me but for some reason I got so caught up in the whirlwind of life that I neglected one of my most valuable tools for processing and reflection.
I don’t really buy into the ‘New Year’s resolutions’ hype because I believe if I want to make a change in my life I should do it at the moment of inspiration rather than delaying until the calendar changes.
Funny how there are no such things as coincidences, and mid-December my Instagram account got hacked (by the Russians) and deleted. Out of frustration I emailed IG explaining the situation and asking them to reinstate my account. A few days passed and during that time I felt it was kind of nice to have one less app on my phone to check. One less portal of social media to rely on for validation, er, I mean ‘communication’ *cough. On the third day I got an email reply stating that my account had been recovered and is back up and running. I thought, damn, *face palm* I don’t even want the damn thing anymore.
I had come to a conclusion that had been in process for a long time. I believe main social media platforms were developed to increase communication, reconnect old friends, a more trendy way to maintain contact and to do it on a mass scale. But as time passed I felt like it was being used more or less to showcase a life that one wanted the world to see. An easy way to say “Hey look at me!” and somehow get some sort of social validation through that. I’m not pointing fingers at others here, quite the opposite actually. (Although I’m sure most are guilty of it to one degree or another, hehe). [Disclaimer: This is in no way meant as an offense to others and how they use social media. We all have our reasons for doing things, and right now I’m just talking about mine.]
But in all seriousness, I took a step back and had to really tease apart what impacts social media has in my life, and decide if it’s even a necessary thing to be involved in. The answer is actually…no. I don’t want to allow myself to engage in this false sense of connectedness. What a friend describes as “the like-based effect”. Seeking validation through likes and followers, which feeds the ego, but does nothing for my soul. I want real connection. Genuine relationships. I want to live a life free of the layer of ‘needing to be seen’ all the time. I’m deactivating my IG and FB. This challenges me to create direct pathways of communication via sincere conversation, which I believe will enhance my relationships, while also allowing me to live my life having removed some ego-centrical drivers.
And, finally, forces me to get back to my writing. Is this also ego-driven? To think anyone actually reads this?? That’s a question I don’t really have an answer for. But I’m gonna write anyway 😉
What shall I do with this blog? I’ve got to redirect its focus from my life in Africa to my life in Muricaland. I suppose I’ll hold onto the basic blog framework I’ve established…race reviews, the work I’m doing, trip and life reflections…and there’s another element I’ll weave in. I journaled heavily while making my way around the world and have gotten requests to publish my entries. I’ve hesitated doing this because, well, like I’ve already said, who would even read it? But I suppose the beauty of blogging lies in the mystery of it all…I publish my thoughts in the internet world and really have no idea who or if it ever even gets read. But the release, the sweet release of composition and exhibition, will always keep luring me back. I’m addicted to the written word. Look out blog world, the Unicorn Diaries are back in action!