Sunday, September 28, 2014

If a barista makes a latte in Brooklyn and no one takes a photo, is it still delicious?

I need a timeout. 

Social media has become too big a priority for me and I've absent-mindedly given it too much authority over my time. After reading this blog today (#JOMO is a thing, catch on world) and hearing my pastor speak for the past couple of weeks about the importance of creating space in your life, I decided that this break (particularly from Instagram) was a necessary one. 

I have curated my Instagram account in such a way that I follow mostly people who inspire me with their creativity. So, it's generally a good thing. From photographers to fashion bloggers and foodies, the bulk of my Instagram feed consists of beautiful images of work worthy of appreciation in the form of a "double tap." (I also just have some really talented friends if I may say so.) I see the platform as a place where people share knowledge and ideas. It's the reason I love it so much more than any of the other social media platforms. But, I find that lately it's too much of a good thing.

I'm struggling with comparison in ways that I shouldn't and I don't like the feeling of anxiety I get when I can't access it for more than a certain amount of time. Being tied to something like that doesn't fit into the freedom life that I am designed for. I recently realized I was checking Insta on my phone upwards of thirty times a day on average. Any time I am even slightly bored or find myself in a mildly awkward social situation, the phone comes out and I am looking at pictures so fast that sometimes I don't even realize what I am doing. I started using it as a sort of safety net when I'm too lazy to put it down and have an actual conversation and I don't like that. I spend way more time looking at little square photos on my phone than I do praying or meditating, talking to my family, or actually creating any of the wonderful things I have been inspired to by the people I follow there. 

Anil Dash discusses a beautiful idea in his blog about the "Joy of Missing Out.

"Being the one in control of what moves me, what I feel obligated by, and what attachments I have to fleeting experiences is not an authority that I'm willing to concede to the arbitrary whims of an app on my mobile phone. I think more and more people are going to retake this agency over their feelings about being social, as well. That's a joyful thing." 

So, I decided to take the next week completely off of not just Instagram, but all social media platforms as a trial run to experience some #JOMO. 

Some people are probably saying "A week? Really? WTF?" But that's huge for me, someone who (literally) works in, volunteers with, eats and breathes social. The point is to come back with fresh perspective and more healthy habits. If that means I am only getting on Instagram once or twice a day, so be it. If I want to extend the social fast for another week...great! 

As for work, I'll still have to log on intermittently for my job(s), but I won't check my own accounts. I want to have some time to catch up to myself and utilize the "moments" to actually think for a second. I don't want to be afraid of the nothingness. 

Why announce it like it's some big deal? I mean, people survived for...well, for always without social media up to this point. I guess I hope by posting this it encourages some of my friends to also think about what we're sowing into and how we're spending our time. I don't want us to be known as the generation who won't look up. 

Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can't lose, right? 

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