Monday, April 4, 2011

What Am I Missing?

James's birthday was on a Sunday recently so we made a whole weekend of it, and during that time I yearned to share our doings by posting some status updates on Facebook, things like: "'Sucker Punch' + vintage books + Mongolian BBQ = a great day!" But I was nowhere near a computer and my phone was low on battery.

And then a funny thing happened. I began to experience a little social networking withdrawal. Who knew??

Although I may be wrong, I don't think I spend a lot of time on social networking; however, I will admit it's on my mind a lot. My whole reason for even getting involved was to promote my art. And then it just sorta snowballed. Perhaps because I suspect I have the kind of personality that turns everything into an addiction.

Anyway, by the end of Day One of the birthday weekend just the thought of Facebook seemed a bit overwhelming to me. And a quick check on my iPhone told me that no one was even aware of my absence. Why did I care??

Day Two was more of the same. And by the time we returned home that evening I was in somewhat of a funk; just the sight of the computer was enough to make me anxious. In my mind I saw the amount of time I'd been devoting to establishing my little spot online, and how in a matter of hours that big world I'd been trying to orbit had leapt miles ahead of me. I didn't have the energy now to catch up. And it wouldn't matter anyway. Even a couple of the new Twitter followers I'd recently welcomed had already lost interest in me and 'unfollowed.' After a matter of hours.... Sheesh....

I can't blame Social Networking as the reason why the following week was such a downer for me. In the grand scheme of All Things That Depress Me, it doesn't make a blip. I'd begun to sense a deep darkness on my periphery before the weekend had even gotten underway, and with the deep darkness there comes a deeper aloneness. I know this. And for me, Social Networking provides a different kind of aloneness, and it didn't help.

When things returned to their normal routine on Monday, I made the online comment that I was stepping away for a while and would return to the world of Social Networking again when I could do so with a smile. And then I gave the computer a wide berth. The few who cared took the time to say they cared, and for that I'm grateful.

And since that post I've returned, but not fully. I look at the phenomenon and see a high school clique that is impossible for me to infiltrate, and just knowing that a little bitty part of me yearns to do so makes me unhappy with myself. I want the balls to cut my ties to it! But dang if I don't see its potential for someone like me who is trying to run a business on a dime.

Maybe it's my age. Or maybe I just don't understand it. Or maybe I just don't have the time for it. But Facebook and Twitter and the like just brush my fur backwards. Trying to employ them for the sake of Mayfaire takes time I hardly have and skills I don't possess. Since I care (and am careful) about what I post and how I post it, each sentence is handcrafted and honed. Not perfectly, I understand. Not even well, I suspect! But you wouldn't guess that from the amount of time and attention I give them. And does it matter? That's the big question. Am I wasting my time? Does it all work out for the best?

I haven't a clue. But those 'in the know' say it does. We'll see.... But for now it feels kind of nice to take a big step back and let it all run on ahead, gossiping and giggling like schoolgirls trying to catch the eye of the In Crowd.

While I read a book and plant peas. And draw. And dream.


  1. I'm with you, my friend. I have been MIA from FB for a whole week--in fact, I haven't turned the computer on for the entire week until tonight. There are those who care. And there are also those of us who don't even own a cellphone and wouldn't know a twitter or a tweet or a text if it bit us on the nose...

    I love reading your blog. You have such a unique voice and I always delight in your vision and language and imagination. You are very special to me and I bless the day you and I reconnected via the internet and FB and blogs.

    And anyway, you have way more followers than me, so quit your complaining! Where is that little smiley face when you need one?

  2. Ha! -- the smiley face, never around when you need it!

    As far as followers go, Laurel, you might be surprised by the amount of activity your posts generate. I, for one, am challenged at ferreting out and reading statistics, so the only clue I have that my words aren't just evaporating into the cloud is when someone either comments or 'follows' me. (And really, if that never happened, I'd still be uber-envious of those bloggers who say little and get followed a lot but I'd write somehow/somewhere anyway because I just can't help myself.) I'm vaguely getting an inkling that there are those folks who visit and read your words obliquely and either don't know how to comment or follow, or don't have the time to do so. I think it all works out.... So hang in there and keep posting in your unique voice, 'k?, because I enjoy your words and your perspective. And others will, too.

    Laurel, if I haven't said so yet, thank you for taking the time to read me here and say a Little Something. And BIG thankyous for your continued friendship! It means a lot to me, and I'm happy to have you in my life.