Monday, August 7, 2017

TO SHARE OR NOT TO SHARE - a reflection on social media

        I have not been posting my runs on Facebook as much as used to. In fact, I have not been posting very much of anything on Facebook lately or any other social media forum. If you know me well, you know this is a new thing for me, for I generally post many times a day. But more and more I have not felt the need to share anything, no matter how magical, no matter how special, not on social media or anywhere else. I have found that no matter how special something is one cannot possibly convey this level of "special" with a photo or a quote or both. Second, I also found that sharing any special experience on social media, to a ton of people whom I hardly ever see or connect with personally, cheapens the totality of the experience. 

       Interestingly, I believe this change to be a bigger sign of something greatly positive in my life.  All of the sudden, I don't have this voracious need to see my life reflected back to me via someone else's comments or reflections. All of the sudden, my experience of any given special moment is sufficient enough to fulfill me. That sunrise I experienced is mine, just mine, just as the success of completing that grueling treadmill 14-miler this morning was also all mine, no one else could possibly say anything to make me feel prouder. I did not care, crave or want for others' verbal high-fives. 

       So what does all this mean in the bigger picture? To me, this means I have surely reached a new level of independence in the way I view and value my own personal voice and experience.  As someone who began her life journey as someone who constantly made way, bent-over backwards and accommodated, making way for others' perspectives first and foremost, this change is quite revolutionary. In fact, my first 30 years of life were spent constantly wrought with trying to correctly read, then appease the wrong people. Perhaps there is an invisible common thread here with this issue I brought up earlier, having to do with taking up space and valuing one's own discomfort barometer. Part of showing oneself self-respect is paying attention to one's inner barometer and vocalizing loud and clear when things are not fun, comfortable or pleasant. As a dear friend once excellently pointed out to me, "Normal people have no issues with you setting boundaries." It's only the bullies that push their weight around, pout and punish you for speaking out when not comfortable. 

        So back to Facebook. Suddenly, I don't need or care to share. It's not a bad thing, it's not a good thing. It just is the way it is. Suddenly, only my voice, my perspective, my experience of any given event matters. Not needing external validation for my own thoughts, opinions and feelings is so incredibly liberating, probably because now there is just one voice up there, calling the shots, making decisions. I don't think I will take myself out of Facebook altogether, but I do know something in me has changed and I get very little out of sharing my runs, my thoughts, my special moments with the world. Again, not a bad thing, not a good thing.....just the way things are. 


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