So about 3 weeks ago I said goodbye to Facebook. Two weeks later I bid adieu to Snapchat and Instagram.
I found that Facebook was blasting me with opposing beliefs. And the latter two were blasting me with beauty and insecurity. I was doing that dumb comparison thing again. Le sigh.
I intended to stay removed from social media for much longer, but today I ventured back.
On my hiatus I had dreamed of grandeur. "With all my free time I'll be able to do xyz." The xyz being read a book, get creative and crafty, invest time into me, workout, be present, and/or another hundred ideas.
I DID read a book. I DID exercise. I DID find time to draw. I WATCHED movies with my family, instead of half watch/zone out into my phone. But. It took effort to make these things happen. It wasn't like I suddenly had blocks of time with nothing to fill them with. I still had chaos. And a schedule, a barking dog, a fitful toddler, and a math avoiding 9 year old. There were plenty of moments where I picked up my phone and zoned off into a news website, or blog, or gossip site. I replaced social media with other "zone out into my phone" moments. The accomplishments I made were because I MADE myself allot the time.
Now, I knew I'd avoid political debate. And I was right. I didn't engage in any real life arguments. And while it was nice to take a break from the arguments - it was agony to disconnect from my pals. (Okay, agony is an exaggeration. But it was a diluted form of agony!)
Yesterday I was grocery shopping with Johnny. I looked around at all the people around me, and I thought, "I bet 95% of these people have differing political beliefs from me. And guess what? I don't care. I don't want to talk to them about it. I'm still going to be polite to them. I can easily coexist with them. I am 99% unaffected by their beliefs." (1% being that they vote in a president that I don't support.)
It's not that I'm anywhere near apathetic about politics, quite the contrary, but I can live my real life without needing to blast my opinions or engage in debate. I can silently think "asshole" when I see somebody misbehaving in public. I can walk away, without confrontation. I think it's time I live my social media life that way, too. When I see things I don't like in real life, maybe a bumper sticker with a politician's name on it (that I don't support) I don't even flinch. So going forward, when I see something I perceive as dumb on Facebook, I am not allowing myself to treat it any differently than a Trump bumpersticker.
What I have done, is engage in conversation with people who are like minded. That has been ... REFRESHING! It feels great to share things with people who agree. There's no debate. There is hope, there is excitement, there is positivity and there is momentum in those feelings. Those conversations do not deflate me. They excite me. They energize me.
Ultimately, I think I'm walking away seeing more pros than cons in the land of social media. I think I'll continue to carve out time for books, art, and leisure. I think I'll quit trying to change the minds of my political counterparts. I think I'll just coexist, and enjoy the picture feed.
**note: I am not in anyway against online political support/debates. I just recognize that my passion for politics does not match my ability for debate, and so it an attempt for self preservation, I am bowing out. But I encourage you all to continue your dialogue. I have learned so much from what has been shared on Facebook! (Even if I don't agree with at least half of it.)