Any dictionary would define sharing as the act of giving a portion of something to someone else. In the traditional context, those somethings are food, clothes, or any tangible item that can be exchanged. With the turn of the century and use of social media, the term has been redefined. Sharing is akin to expressing your thoughts and feelings in a forum where your audience is captive. The audience is often comprised of close friends, coworkers, and family. Some use the platform to inspire, incite social activism and change, bully, encourage, or comedic relief. It is yours to do as you please, but has sharing, in its new context, become a necessity? I pose the question because of my own personal inventory and subsequent, periodic need to refocus and alignment.
In the age of social media, “sharing” has almost become an absolute, intuitive commitment: wash your face, brush your teeth, put on your clothes, eat breakfast, SHARE. No matter the platform of choice, the innate need to share the most mundane to complex aspects of life has almost become instinctual. As I grew up, life was much more simplistic; “sharing” was accomplished through writing a letter, making a phone call, or the all forgotten archaic form of communication, talking. Technology requires that we communicate differently, but there could be collateral impacts to building and sustaining meaningful relationships such as fostering intimacy and connectedness in our engagements.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not sharing shaming but rather offering a perspective based on my experience. You see, humorously, I graduated from a chronic sharer to somewhat of an encouraging sharer/voyeur. You didn’t know there were levels to this paradigm? Yep, there are. Well, at least in my head there are. I used to share everything when I joined social media in the early 2000s. Since then, I have tapered my engagement significantly. I think my life’s experiences and my desire to connect with my family required me to modify my habits.
Since joining social media, I have evolved from just being married and working an easy job (for lack of better words) to being a mommy of two, just completing my second master’s degree, maintaining a home, remaining married (lol), and having a very fulfilling and demanding career. Essentially, there isn’t enough time. Valuable time is such a scarcity I become protective of precious moments with those important to me. I want to spend time undistracted.
Recently, I made the decision to decrease my social media presence. I am not yet strong enough to eliminate it completely, but a definite reduction was warranted. I desired the feeling of not “sharing” and complete immersion in moments. Enjoying the full depth and offering of the experience without an inkling to share the details with my social media community was sure to render positive benefits. I want to be present with my family. Does this mean I don’t get the urge to snap pictures or compose thoughts then click “share”? No, I just choose to be even more present in those moments that may be fleeting or share when I am indulging in me time. Of course, I can always make new memories, but I can also relish in the activities that endear me to those closest to me. I found that periods of disengagement from social media are great and give space to focus on important and unimportant things equally.
Step back, enjoy the moments and allow them to make permanent imprints in your memory bank. Just be.