Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Social Media: Over-sharing and Disconnecting

First, happy feast of St. Teresa of Avila. As a writer, she's an inspiration. As a student, her feast day will always be tied to the day I was officially accepted to Utah State University for the program I'm currently in. She was one of the saints that have been with my throughout my reversion and one that I've learned a lot from. :D

Now that that has been said... I wanted to share something a friend once said to me. This friend made a surprisingly accurate comment about me -- I share a lot but I don't really share much. Re-read that if you have to. Still not getting it? See, as an introvert who doesn't really talk much in person, I tend to "talk" a lot on social media... like on Twitter. I reply, I engage, I share. Same goes for my blog. I share a lot... but, as some of you may have noticed, there are some off-limit topics. I'm pretty much like that in person as well. My relationships are the most off-limit topic both on- and offline. Don't ask because I will either make a joke about it or simply change the topic. Stuff that goes on between my mom and I? Off-limits. Stuff like that I won't share... but I do share other things.

Watching a futbol match? You bet I'm going to share my comments. I got the most RTs during the World Cup for a reason folks (I over-share my "feels" when it comes to futbol). Something school or faith related? I'll share to an extent; I'll share what I feel comfortable sharing. Randomness? Have you seen my tweets? lol. Most are random. So, yes, I do share a lot... but I don't really share much.

Lately, I haven't been doing much of it* (compared to other times). Yes, I'm approaching 100k tweets... but I've had that account for almost 7 years now. I share less blogging (obviously) because I've been so busy with school and trying to figure out a slew of things going on with me. That's going to change in less than two months (God willing...) but that's because I've decided on a new plan for my social media usage.

As some of you have noticed, I've started to disconnect. I reply to tweets and DMs less often. Those who text me have noticed that I take longer to reply (seriously, I can go all day without even looking at my phone). Emails take hours (or even a day or two) as opposed to minutes to reply. Basically, I made a conscience decision to be more "off the grid"... and it's been hard. At the same time, I remind myself that a lot of what I do share is pointless so I try to refrain from doing it. Again, hard but I'm taking baby steps.

As I said, I'm very much an introvert (and most of my CA friends have moved away) so a lot of my socializing is done through technology. I do snail mail some friends but I still connect mostly online and through text messages. Because I'm so connected, it's hard to disconnect... but it's been good for me. I've slipped a couple of times but am mostly on track where I want to be in terms of my social media use. It helps that I'm sometimes too busy with schoolwork. 

I've heard of F.O.M.O. (fear of missing out) syndrome and I do agree that it's very real... but I also feel like I've become disinterested in what I "miss" online. I don't feel the urge to go through all the tweets I've missed. I know that I can always go to an individual's profile and look up their tweets if I want/need to. My closest friends know how to best get a hold of me away from Twitter and social media... and most do. If I need to talk to someone (either for advice, for a pep talk, or a quick chat) and they're too far away, I'll use text or Google Talk. I'm not much of a phone person so it's usually a quick message through Google Talk. I'm so disinterested in my phone that, despite it being an "old" (read: more than 3 years old) smartphone (Android), I have no desire to upgrade it unless it decides to quit on me.

I don't know if I'm either burnt out on social media (so much of it), I'm simply too busy, my independence is showing, or if it's just my age (and I'm not that old; hush, peanut gallery... you know who you are :-P), but I just don't have much of an interest in social media as I once did. I get my Catholic news delivered to my inbox and I'm subscribed to my favorite blogs so I'm not missing out there.

I have a bigger desire to blog and connect through this platform. Instead of "micro-blogging" on Twitter, you're going to see a lot more posts and a lot less tweets. I might step up the updated on the blog's FB page when I am too busy to blog (like for the next two weeks; so many exams and research papers due...) but it'll still be connected to the blog that way.

I've really missed blogging the way I used to so I'm going to be returning to those "roots." I could blame Twitter for the decline in blogging (because it's so much easier to tweet news than to wait to share it with everyone in a post) but I won't. That was my own decision... just like it's my decision to revert to my old ways prior to my excessive use of Twitter. lol.

Will this help some of the random over-sharing? It's possible. I'm a lot more conscience of what I share on the blog so the randomness may subside somewhat but I'm also kind of a dork (again, no comment from the peanut gallery) so I'll have my random posts sprinkled in from time to time. lol. 

Anyway, just wanted to share this. ;) Now, if you'll excuse me, I have two exams to study for (first one is on Friday, second next Monday). :D

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D

No comments: