It’s intriguing to experience what happens when you choose not to fill your short bursts of alone time with an unending deluge of photos and tweets and videos and statuses of everyone else’s lives. I’ve been jotting down notes on this concept quite a bit lately; if only to make me a better friend and human being. Today a friend sent me a short post which led me to briefly share some of my own thoughts & struggles with digital social overload.
I have a personal game—nay, a test—I play when out to dinner or drinks with a friend: When said friend leaves the table to take a call or go in search of the restroom, I do not pull out my phone and begin awkwardly peeping in on everyone else’s lives.
It’s weird to do nothing. Won’t lie. It’s awkward to not have that goddamn safety blanket of the computer that lives inside your pocket to fill your alone time. Yet there is something so simple, yet wildly profound, I’ve discovered inside those silent 5 minutes of chatting with your server, focusing on the smoky flavor of that bourbon, or simply staring at the wall and pondering the difficult business decisions that lie ahead.
Over a month ago, I began to notice an immediate improvement in face-to-face interactions with other human beings only by deleting the Facebook app from my phone. That said, it’s a battle I continue to wage daily. Social media plays an important role in my career & growth of a business, and therefore I cannot completely ignore it. I have yet to find the right balance or, more likely, the discipline to find the right balance. When I withdrawal from the personal aspect of social media, I tend to (albeit unintentionally) withdraw from it for business purposes too—which I cannot allow to happen. It’s how my brain handles balance, unfortunately. It’s all or nothing. There’s an answer, and the aforementioned post from the ever-so-wise Adam Braun has sent me on a journey to find it.
So first things first. Is this the first personal writing I’ve publicly posted since we shuttered The Big Noob almost 5 years ago? Yup. I miss it so much. See… I’m attempting to find that balance again. I lost it somewhere along the journey. I’m beginning to backtrack my steps in hopes of finding it. Keep you posted on where I left it.
“'It doesn't happen all at once,' said the Skin Horse. 'You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.'”—Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit
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