I've been trying to figure out a way to write this post without sounding all judgmental or high and mighty, because I have no desire to be either of those things. I guess I worry because I've seen posts like this written before and they always cause me to stop and take a step back and analyze the time I'm spending online and on social media. I'm not trying to make any philosophical statements about social media here, so know that up front. I'm running two blogs for goodness sake, so I'm hardly one to preach about stepping back and spending less time online. But I thought I'd just share something I recently did and how it's helped ground me a bit more, so I guess take what you will from it.
This same type of distracted pattern was emerging when out and about as well. I was picking up my phone for no good reason at all, other than out of pure habit. Refreshing my feed every few minutes just to see if anyone had posted anything earth shattering. No one I was with ever really complained about it, and I could leave my phone at home or in the car if need be and not suffer from severe withdrawals. But it just started to get to me. I started to feel guilty having the kids see me constantly pick up my phone, and I got irritated with myself that I couldn't sit through a stop light without checking my phone.
So I deleted my accounts off my phone. At first just for summer, but I am enjoying this new way of life so much that I think it will become my new normal.
A couple of days ago I had a moment alone at a family function, and usually I'd use that time to scroll through my phone and make sure I was all up to date. But I sat there just looking around with nothing to preoccupy me. For a split second I thought to myself "Well this is kinda boring", and if I could've slapped myself I would have. As quick as the thought came in, I counteracted it with the statement "This is your life", and I looked around and observed my life and the people I was with and what they were doing and I realized it wasn't boring at all. There was plenty to look at, to soak up and sink in, to appreciate, to feel grateful for, to laugh at and even smirk at. This was, and is my life, before smart phones and the constant invasion of other people's lives into mine. This is the only life I have to live and I better enjoy it, the fun times, the bad times, and even the simple everyday times that may seem boring and very ordinary. All these times are ones I am grateful for. I forgot how beautiful and simple life could be without all those other distractions.
We went to the beach the other day. Crystal Cove to be exact. I held my Taylor's hands as she jumped in and out of waves, begging me not to let go. I watched my Syd play chicken with the waves over and over and over again, trying to see how close he could let them get to his toes before he could safely outrun them. He giggled and laughed something fierce and I saw it all. I stopped a couple of times to take some pictures via Instagram, but there was no pausing to write 140 characters or update my status alerting everyone that I was having a good time at the beach. I just had a good time, with only myself and my family to witness it. And my God it felt good. Downright glorious in fact. I can't remember the last time I had felt so happy and energetic and even if it is a cliche of a word, present.
P.S. I just so happened to come across this post tonight that touches on this compulsory need to check in and see what's going on.