The Birds are Tweeting

It’s weird for me to say this on a blog, I know, but I’m feeling very withdrawn from social media right now. It’s a sad, sad place to be sometimes. I’ve never been one to feel that way – given my 15-year career in marketing. I’ve been among the first on Twitter, Facebook (once available to college grads), Instagram, even Foursquare (which I now put in a box with LinkedIn, yawn).

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Growing up, I was in a very close friendship consisting of three girls, which often meant that one of us felt left out. My Facebook and Instagram feeds are currently making me relive this agony every single day, sometimes more than once. Photos of friends together, places I wasn’t invited to… creating things much cooler than I could hope to create.

A couple of my close friendships are falling apart. I’m guilty of relying on social media too much myself. I can’t be “bothered” when someone’s not on Instagram and therefore has no idea what my life is about. Sometimes I pretend this is okay, because I may have more in common with those entrepreneurs, runners and dog-lovers online, but then I get caught up in what I’m “missing” and realize the important things I’m missing are actually good, old friends who are amazing because of our differences.

I do have to say that I’ve met more incredible people online than I could have ever imagined possible. People I really, truly consider friends even though we’ve never met. They inspire me, cheer me on, and console me (lately). Our interests match so closely, and it’s hard not to imagine we really do hang out on the couch together (remind me to rent that movie, Her).

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Oddly, when so many people poured their generous thoughtfulness on me after my knee injury, it highlighted those who didn’t. I received some of the most awesome cards and gifts from the most surprising places! But rather than be totally sad about the close friends who didn’t, I was sad about myself, because I think I’m now one of those people. I think my friends have had knee surgery or similar, and I didn’t know or acknowledge what a terrible experience it was. I didn’t ask, or I didn’t listen. I let life get “busy”, even when I can see that it’s never as busy as we claim it to be (NEVER). I used to be so great about sending cards, and now Facebook waits to tell me until the morning of your birthday.

I can’t ditch Facebook, because it’s also my [photography] business, but I’d like to stop leaving it open in the tabs on my desktop all the time. I may just leave Instagram logged in to my running account this weekend, which is a smaller, more focused stream of inspirational strangers. I’ve shut off notifications to my phone.

I make no claims of becoming a purist on this, but this spring – more than ever – I am really understanding why friends are choosing to “log off”. I need a good, deep breath. It’s that time of year to look up, and look outside!

Have you chosen to log off more and more? How has social media changed you, both in good ways and in bad? Please share!

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