I've been back on line for twenty-one days...and the fact is, I'm kind of over it.
I've talked before here about how I am a very introverted person. I look back over the past few years, and I feel that in many ways I have changed, but this facet of my personality is very much intact (if you don't know much about introverts, I encourage you to read this article about us. For me it's true across the board), and after cutting myself off completely from the internet for forty days, I realize something: for the most part internet communication is way more about the small talk and information gathering than it is about any sort of meaningful sharing of ideas. I'm not saying that people do not develop deep relationships online, or use it to have meaningful conversations. They do, albeit, generally, not very often.
I've been struggling with how to really put words to this over the last few days.
What I don't like about myself when I put myself out there in short blurbs of words is that it lacks intimacy. Unfortunately, I also don't generally trust the atmosphere of social networking or email enough to foster any real intimacy on my own part ( we'll chalk this up to life lessons hard learned ), but I do want to feel like I was both seen and heard by any one in my realm of internet interaction and when that doesn't happen the way I expected (ah expectations--another blog for another time), I react negatively when I really hadn't set myself up for anything truly meaningful in the first place.
This is a problem.
But it's a problem I do have the power to change.
Then today I read this: Your Instagram Life
And it all sort of came together for me. I don't want an instagram life, but the only way to not have one is to fully engage in whatever it is that I am doing.
Twenty one days is all it took for me to fall back into patterns of disengaging and not even enjoying the process. Twenty one days to slip back into shallow waters, 140 character statements and filter-full existence.
For all that it doesn't always "pop" or have amazing lighting, life in the raw is pretty awesome, even when it's ugly and you can't photoshop out the blemishes.
I'll take the unfiltered version please. It will be a lot more unplugged for the duration.