When I decided to turn my attention to how I’m relating to my “social media self”, I started to see how off balance things were in my life. As I navigate what my life with/ and without social media is becoming, it has been an eye-opening experiment. I deactivated my profiles, and the world did not end. Most people didn’t even notice that I was gone, or taking a break. It was interesting considering how much time I felt I was putting into crafting this online “persona”, and outward facing version of myself. I kept changing and re-arranging who I was with what I thought people might “want” from me. In reality, we are the sum of many, many things. There is this push on social media to limit the multitudes that make up our being into quick digestible blurbs. To narrow down the services we offer into something concrete, to “brand” our infinite into something relatable.
I don’t think I’m ready to leave completely, to move from “deactivate on occasion” to “permanently delete” on my platforms. There have been beautiful moments of sharing, when someone has reached out because of a post I’ve made, or because of a connection that would’ve only happened on Facebook. Learning to navigate balance is tricky when you’re up against multiple platforms that are designed to feed on your attention. I am learning that I need it less and less, and that I’m connecting more and more with the people in my life.
I’m also starting to find my own voice again, and it really has given me an opportunity to do some deep and necessary self care and reflection. One nugget that my God Soul would always give me is, “Don’t be an echo, share your voice and insights”, and I’m learning to do that more. It’s easy to click “share” on someones else’s post, and there are some really great voices out there. I do think, that too often we defer to others because we don’t feel our voice is strong enough to rise in the moment. I’m spending more time with my analog journal. Writing things out longhand really allows me the opportunity to be more present with what I’m committing to paper. I even had to pause when starting this blog today, the thought of dressing it up with pictures to help drive the message home was there, but this is enough.
When we take a moment to slow down and really observe where our attention is going, and where it isn’t, we regain/retain a bit of our power. I feel balance and power go hand in hand. When we pull back some of that power that is ours, we can begin to use it to stabilize our center. I’m finding that it’s okay to also just be one thing to the world. I don’t have to wear all the hats, or all of the projections. When we step closer to our passions, we can also start to see where balance flows outward, and into the world. There are things I stopped doing a while back because I was afraid, or nervous of how the world would see me, or that I was “wasting time” on things that were not furthering my brand.
How do you navigate your online and offline life? Where do you feel power might be lost, and where can you pull some back for yourself, for your craft, for your art? How different are you from your online persona?