It’s been a while. And with that natural passing of time comes the need to explain why I haven’t written a micro blog in over a year and change.
I guess I don’t have to explain.
It just feels like I do.
I’ve felt that tug every time I’ve stepped away from social media to simply live.
We plug in, tune on and share, share, share . . . expelling the depths of our hearts with a frequency and at a speed that we’re often not questioning or processing . . .
We have to keep posting to remain relevant. To exist.
It keeps us running, chasing, on-the-wheel. Until we get resentful, burn out or curl into depression.
Decompression is needed.
No-tech time is more than superfluous SelfCare. Our cells need to refresh, our body must remember its own shape without a phone fused to its thigh. We have a brain that’s wired for solutions but most of the time we’re too scattered to pluck them from the muck.
I feel this chronic, frazzled way of operating reverberating through every synapse.
“We touch our phones 2,617 times every twenty-four hours.” ~ Johann Hari, Stolen Focus
Well, it’s no wonder I’m tested to string two thoughts together these days. The work has become setting clear boundaries around phone usage, procuring chunks of tech-free time and vigilantly carving quiet, empty space—free of distractions. This is harder than it sounds. Exhausting really. But vital to remaining human.
I certainly feel much more like a real skin-and-bone anthropoid in my own life. The one that rambles on right in front of me before being plugged into the algorithm. The pure place where I live quietly, unannounced and unlatch myself from the tendrils of relentless marketing and manipulation. Sometimes, often, social media feels more like shopping than entertainment and almost always makes me feel bad about myself.
I admit I’m part of the marketing machine. I willingly (and sometimes eagerly) participate as someone who shares and sells their work online.
And, let’s be clear, it’s not like I’m above enjoying the attention! Comments make me feel high. My closest friends live across the world and Telegram has all my secrets banked by now. Giving and receiving love in the virtual realms is often more comfortable for me than establishing deep levels of intimacy in my own life. I’ve realized I can only handle very few in-person friendships that require me to put on clothes and leave the house from time to time.
Still, I find myself scattered. Challenged to sit still and read an entire book chapter. These micro blogs are a product of my ever-shortening attention span.
My soul craves breaks from the dopamine hit of double taps.
This year, I self-published my first 99 micro blogs in a collection called Come Out & Play. I started hiking and going to yoga (after three years of wanting to). I recorded an audiobook. That was my life, being lived. Most of it within the aged pink brick of my desert home with orangey brown wood beam ceilings above my head. In the company of cats. Amidst green, growing things.
I used to get unnerved at the thought of a quiet life because, well, aren’t we supposed to want more? Exposure? Accolades? Renown?
But over these years of writing, before any grand success, I’ve seamlessly sunk into this whispered way of being. It hasn’t been without struggle but I’ve found grace within it. Coming to know myself so I can course correct when internal imbalances become even slightly pronounced in outer life. Everything is subtle, nuanced. Most of my experience is imperceptible to others.
All of it online is manufactured. Sure, it’s genuine—a reflection of me in the virtual world. But I created it to look and feel a certain way, just like we all do. How bizarre, to admit that to ourselves.