Yes, I'm double blogging!
It's a rare occurrence indeed, but sometimes I just have more to say.
As many of you already know having followed me one way or another over the years, I've been getting back to basics, in terms of my social media presence and sharing platforms. I tried to go back to the FB group thing recently, after a long break I thought I missed it but returning just didn't feel right. Still, it was lovely to see that the admin team are still doing an amazing job carrying on my work and a relief to finally understand, it could all thrive without me. Not everything needs my input. It doesn't feel like its mine anymore and thats a good thing.
Back on my own, on my owns terms it is all rather quieter and its taking some getting used to if I'm honest, like someone switched the noise off? That said, it's a relief. I finally feel free of others expectations and I've finally I've plugged the hole which was draining me of my emotional energy.
Maybe I can start to grow again by watering my own glorious garden?
It's worth a try at least!
Back in August, September last year, I was already planning my great escape, but we all know one of the team had other plans for my time. That rocky road has been flattened and the trial magazine will be published for the last time on the first of May. I do not feel remotely guilty. However, I do feel sad for all the writers and of course the huge talent that is Tia. It is what it is and I truly hope that everyone remains inspired to write and grow their own following, talented beans that they are. Nothing is ever wasted really. Plant those seeds, feed and water them, show them the light and they will bloom! People are just the same really.
Blogging has been part of my life since 2006, but I've always been at my best when flying solo. I'm trying really hard not to feel the need to share now. It didn't work. All it did was take me as far away from me as was humanly possible. I was in danger of collapsing under the weight of others needs and neglecting mine in the process.
I remember and will always remember feeling like a monster. I really started to think thats what people thought I was every time one of the team kicked off. Far from making me feel more included and connected, the whole 'sharing' platforms thing was really wilting my spirit.
I kept hitting brick walls and one day I just woke up and thought 'I can't do this any more, it's making me ill. Time to stop'. So I climbed over the proverbial wall, finally putting myself first.
Just in time really.
I've never been afraid of starting again as many times as I need to.
There's no shame in it at all.
A few weeks in and I finally feel like I can breathe and create again. I want to interact with my real friends on a level playing field, not be the leader of the pack. It's that simple. I've never coveted fame, I just have a need to write and now that my head is clearer, I'm sure I will get back to it with gumption.
I have been Social Media exhausted for years if I'm honest. It's really not healthy to live on line 24/7. Facebook is really not the company I'm after these days, it's more of a distraction from reality, from real life. I know there are benefits to social media but for me now, it's not the amazing, inspiring place to hang out. No, it's more of a needs must thing. I tried to delete my main personal facebook page the other day, only to find it would shut down The Very UnFrench Wife page if I did! There appears to be no way to separate the two which is extremely inconvenient. I just don't want to feel the need to feed the beast anymore.
I need to heal.
It's not that I don't like people, I do, very much. There are just so many projects I love needing my attention. If I'm spending my life online, then I'm not getting on with them and I'm neglecting my family. Even with cutting down my time online I'm still shockingly ringing up 5 hours a week online! I guess its better than 12 hours a week though!
I'm seriously paying myself some attention these days. What do I love? What do I need? It's cathartic in the best possible way. Self care is something I've never been good at really, but we are now in a committed relationship of discovery together. It's not been easy moving away from a very co dependant relationship with social media and I'm still very I'm much a work in progress, that's the truth. I still find myself posting then aimlessly scrolling and I hate myself for it but it will get better with time.
How did it all start?
When social media was in its infancy, it was very enticing. Find old friends, re connect, realise you never liked them anyway and delete. There was an element of discovery and the excitement of something new, opening up the world to us, but just as we were tiring of the early social platforms there was a time steeling gremlin in the making. A much bigger evil machine lurking behind the screens to lure us in, eat us up and spit us out! It would seem that back then, we all wanted to connect with each other in the past, present and future and suddenly the giant that was Facebook was born. As each phone upgrade came and went, we all grew double chins, RSI's and humped backs and stopped looking up. Mothers all over the world were capturing the growth of their families one second in, through phone camera lenses and not really being present. How could they be, if every waking moment was being filmed? Then came the influencers with their toxic 'clean eating' and 'clean living' messages! Yuck. The Facebook monster just kept growing and stealing our time and money. Then came the unlimited but unwanted suggested AI advertising and we all found ourselves in the type of captive hell normally enjoyed in SciFi movies.
I started with a few of those early connections, snooping on old boyfriends. Fess up! I know you did it too! Later, we were travelling a lot with my husbands job and Facebook kept me in touch with my family and friends. All was calm, all was well. Then I started blogging, Humble Tart Kitchen was born to help with my food fad and so on. It all just grew, silently at first, sneaking up on my time bank and I really didn't notice it. Then it over took my life and became my best friend in the world. Later came A Very UnFrench Wife to document my time in France, it all seems a lifetime ago.
I believe we are suffering from too much of a good thing, too much exposure. The late teens of today have it licked. They protect their privacy, they snap post and are gone. They aren't letting Facebook influence them, they are influencing the future of social media by not drowning in it! Still being present online is still very much a thing! I can't help but worry about what is being built behind the scenes to captivate the next unsuspecting generation?
These days, I find myself reaching from my phone for no good reason other than its a learnt habit! I look around the rooms of wherever I am in the world and see whole tables full of people staring at phones, not interacting with each other. It's toxic and it's sad. The morning alarm goes off, we reach for our phones, say hello to the world of social media and media in general. It's too easy, to habit forming, too addictive. I think we are becoming overburdened with news and we are cancelling out our feelings about it. We are simply getting used to, numb to the horror of war because it's fed to us on a never ending media loop.
I think it's time social media became a something we limit in our lives and relationships not something we let wholly manage our time and influence our lives. There's a lot to be said for a social media free life, being present and also picking up an old fashioned book for an escape. We really need to start looking up!
I'm aiming for 10 minutes a day, no more. I'm reclaiming my life thanks Facebook. Will you?