Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Disconnect to Connect

I'm not a blogger,  I'm a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend and possibly least of all that is important to me...a doctor.  Being a doctor is amazing, in numerous ways and I worked incredibly hard for those 2 letters behind my name but everything else is....life....my life.  I couldn't live without all those people in my life, I could live without the 2 letters behind my name.  So why am I blogging?  Basically becuase I want to share my thoughts with anyone who wants to listen, beacuse sometimes I want to write in a (public) diary, because I've been around long enough to know, if I'm thinking about it....probably others are too!
On my mind most recently, you have to disconnect to connect.  I always find it so ironic when I'm reading an article on facebook or other electronic modes of communication about ways to be more present in life and less attached to our devices...as I'm reading it on my device....
And now I'm writing about disconnecting from social media to be more involved in life and I'm doing it on....social media! THE IRONY!
Mostly, I just want to share my experience when I detached from social media for a short time (like a month).  It was hard,  like really hard.  It was like detoxing!  But here's what happened, I got phone calls from people I never talk to, texts just to say hi, I reached to some people just to say hi and people reached out to me knowing I'm not on social media so that I would know something happening with them.  (Added side bonus, it was right after the elections....ugh!) My husband was proud of me as he thinks it's all a waste of time and there's no need to know what Sue had for dinner last night and with whom. So that was all the good things...here's some of the bad...I felt out of touch with people, I felt like I was on an island a little bit and had to rely on ships passing by to tell me the news. Mostly I missed my friends that I had been on a recent journey with, spiritually and physically, who didn't live near me.  We had our own facebook page and seeing inspirational messages or update posts from them fed my soul.
Here's another positive that people don't want to admit...no one posts anything bad on facebook, everyone's happy and smiling and doing something awesome.  No one is fighting with their husband, yelling at their kids, or washing the dishes.  So we all get this very skewed view of our friends' lives and the green monster seeps in....it's subtle but it's there and no one wants to admit it.  That was huge for me.  I would see friends out with other friends doing something cool (something I totally want to do) and say "oh, how cool" and "like" their picture but on the inside I was seething, I was sad, I was angry, I was lonely....all from a little picture of something I probably wouldn't know about if I wasn't on facebook.  OH FACEBOOK!  How I love and hate you!!!!!!
Therein lies the dilemma....and I don't believe there is a right answer.  Certainly there is no one right answer and different people feel differently about it and will approach it differently.
But what has worked for me....I'm back on facebook...and instagram (but that's all), I scroll through it daily (or ten times/day...) But I've emotionally disconnected.  I don't let toxic thoughts seep in and if they do, I stop and think...why?  Why is it bothering me that Sue didn't invite me to the cool new restaurant she went to with Debbie?  Would I really invite Sue and Debbie if I were making plans?
And if I really want to go to the restaurant then why don't I just make plans to go?
I've also tried to focus more on my family and close friends, as much as I do check my phone I really do try to make a conscious effort to put my phone away when I'm with my family and friends.  Out of sight, out of mind (kinda...)   Basically I try to connect in the real 3D world happening in front of me with the ones that are important to me.  Everything else is noise, fun noise, but noise.

What do you do to deal with feeling disconnected?  Or dealing with social media envy?

16 comments:

  1. I love this entry, El. Keep 'em coming!

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  2. Love this ! I can't wait to read more xoxo

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  3. So well written El! I think every one of us has felt the same way from time to time. I am not known for being very good at checking my social media and cell at the best of times... :) but reading your blog, and with everything going in the world right now, has just reinforced my commitment to being in the moment (not taking peeks at my phone) and being really truly focused on my kids, husband, family and friends when they are talking to me or while we're spending time together. Thank you El!! Can't wait to see what you write about next! Xoxo

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    1. YES! Being in the moment really takes effort sometimes!

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  4. El, this is so honest and true. Looking at pictures of friends smiling and hanging out leaves the reader feeling like, "why aren't I doing that too?" Obviously, noone will post imperfections online, but the fact that that's missing is dangerous to ppl who believe that those friends lives are so perfect.

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    1. Thanks Sandy! It's a lot of navigating I think!

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  5. Hi El...proud of you!! What a great topic to kick off your blog. I always thought it would be funny to have a "Lifebook" to offset Facebook. The subject of feeling disconnected is something I'll candidly admit to...(we're advocating for authenticity, right?). I've never felt like I fit in or had a place. I wanted to blame it on moving every 2 years (my 11 year old has lived in 5 homes!), not having a consistent neighborhood network, not being included in a group dinner/party courtesy of FB/Insta. Then I read "Braving the Wilderness" by Brene Brown. She gets the cogs moving with this quote by Maya Angelou, "You are only free when you realize you belong no place-you belong every place-no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great". Say what?! xoxo Mia

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  6. Great post! I can totally relate.

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  7. Well done, Doc :) Thanks for the reminder...and keep writing!! xx

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    1. Thanks love!!! You are my go to advice guru!

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