Friday, April 1, 2016

Hello there, friend,

Happy April! Somehow even writing that makes it feel more like spring. I am sitting in the early morning dark, spending a few minutes writing before starting my day, and I can hear the spring birds singing their song. Yesterday I found daffodils that had popped up early. Right now, the upstairs windows are open and it's making me so happy.

I have a lot of thoughts about time spent online. The most important one, for me, is that I want to have a richer and fuller real life than online life. I am inclined to spend a lot of time connecting with people online, hiding behind the computer or phone, and never engaging with the real life people who I can reach out and touch. Because of that, I limit the time I spend posting and scrolling. I've actually found that if I don't post anything, it's easy to step away from social media. I've done it for weeks and been totally okay with it. But if I post something, I keep wanting to go back. It rouses a lot of fear of being forgotten or ignored. Does any of that really matter? I don't know.

But the other important thing I've wrestled with is the idea of creating versus consuming. Scrolling through social media, and reading blogs and articles is consuming. It's passive, it's time consuming, and, like you said, it's pulling away from real life in a sort of escapism. So I try to focus on creating, which is active. I write, take photographs, make stuff with my hands, work on my house. I try to stay engaged and creative. And most of it I don't share. I do it for me because I know it's the stuff that fills me up.

I know this is a very real struggle and I don't want to give you the impression that I have it figured out. What I do know, for me, is when I feel myself getting out of balance and spending too much time online, I shut it down and walk away, sometimes for long periods of time. In fact, for Lent, I gave up scrolling on my phone first thing in the morning because it was becoming a problem and sucking away too much time, time that I need to get my head on straight before the day starts. As long as we have access to all of this information, it's always going to be a struggle. I feel for you, my friend, but I trust you'll figure this out.