Hello there, friends. It's been a while. In fact, it's been over a month. And what a month it has been. We experienced real life in vibrant, living color, and I didn't want to come back. Rather than living vicariously through other bloggers, Facebook posts, and tweets, we simply lived. And it was glorious.
During that month away, I made the decision to simplify my personal online presence. Although I have been back at work for a week (after taking some time off for play - no, that's not a typo!), I have resisted plugging back in to my personal Facebook account, the Busy Nothings Facebook page, Twitter, and Google+. Over the weekend I deleted my other blog, closed down Google+ pages, shut off Twitter accounts.
I spent time curating my Pinterest pins - why? Because that's something I honestly enjoy and actually use to keep things that I want to remember later. I don't do it to make friends or grow a following or gain likes. On Saturday, I received a blog post in my inbox that I thought was useful and interesting - and so I shared it on Google+ and Twitter, and people welcomed me back.
But I'm not back. Not really.
I've got a new outlook on social. I use it... it doesn't use me. I decide how I want to use it, I don't allow it to tell me what I should be aiming for. Ironically, a long-time, real life friend reminded me that social media was not all bad. That it was another way to connect with friends and keep in touch with people around the globe. That it gave you the ability to make a difference and impact people. And while I know that's true in many cases, I believe I am entering a phase of my life when social is a whole lot less online, and a whole lot more in person.
Rather than tweet, "Having lunch at a yummy cafe..." I'd rather just enjoy the lunch, savoring every bite. Instead of giving a thumbs up to a friend's picture, I'd rather be in the picture with her, having made the effort to visit in person. I know there are folks, good friends even, for whom social media and instant sharing actually enhances their experiences. It provides a virtual scrapbook of the events. If that's you, more power to you! Tweet on! It's just not me any longer.
No, I'm not giving up the Internet, or even social media. I like Amazon and Hulu and Zappos as much as anyone, and I still enjoy the occasional blog post written by a friend - even one that I have never met in person. It's just that I am tired of the me-centric world of social media, and I have decided to evaluate everything I do by asking myself...
"In 20 years, will I be happier that I took a cup of coffee and sat outside with my husband, or happier that I spent 20 minutes taking a picture of that cup of coffee, allowing it to get cold, so that I could post about it on Facebook?" I'm 100% sure I know the answer.
Life is short. Drink the coffee.