A Tourist In My Own Life: Trying To Stop Being A Social Media ‘Over-Poster’.
“Hello, my name is Kim, and I am an over-poster.”
“Hello Kim, welcome.”
Pictures, pictures, pictures. Selfies, selfies, selfies. Instagram. Check-ins. Twitter. Me, me, me. You, you, you. Like, Like, Like. Comment. Share. I’ve been here, I’ve been there. Hey, look what I’m doing. Right now. Look at this beach. Look at this snow.
Look at this big animal I just saw in my backyard. Look. OMG.
I know you’ve worked out (that’s great). I know what you’re eating (looks delicious). I know how proud you are of your kids’ report card (he’ll probably get into Harvard). I know about your car accident and when you’ll be at the dentist (sheesh, and ouch).
I know about little Bobby’s goal (yay). You’ve posted a picture of what clearly looks like a mosquito bite, but if I were you I’d get it checked out (yikes, It looks red).
I know what you’re making for dinner, and no, I have no idea where to find Squid Ink or Kelp Noodles (you must be watching the Chopped marathon like I am).
I know where you’re going this weekend, tomorrow, and at 5:00 today, and I even know where you were all last week on your vacation (the beach). Loved the cloud picture you took from the plane window (cool). I know you’re celebrating a birthday (Happy Birthday).
I know that you hate traffic (me too). I know what restaurant you’re in (yum). I know that you’re not feeling well (sad face). You want me to hit Like if I love my son (okay, I do… I do love him… Like).
I’m guilty. So, so, so, so guilty. I, too, am an over-poster. I’ve over-posted entire days of my life away. #guiltyascharged.
But I’ve decided, as much fun as this crazy Facebook/Twitter/Instagram world is, I’m going to stop being a tourist in my own life and in yours. No one likes attention more than I do, it’s true, but it’s time for me to just be. I just want to be. Does that make sense?
I want to feel, and see, and do, and know, and go without reporting on it to the masses. That’s how we humans used to be. And some of us became storytellers, musicians, artists, writers and poets.
Most of us became thinkers, and doers, and questioners, and workers, and adventure-seekers. We just did stuff. And then we actually talked about it.
I know I’m not forced to post anything. I know you’re not making me do it. But oh how I love the Likes and the comments and the instant feedback. I love it. The little girl inside me loves being Liked and belonging to a group. Don’t we all?
But, as much as I love it… it’s time for some moderation. If it’s okay with you, I’m going to power down. Unplug at bit. Remove myself (sort of) from the social media equation. A little less posting, and a little more being in the moment.
A little less filtered picture-taking, a little more conversation. A little less scrolling, commenting, and Liking. Don’t hold me to it or anything, but I’m going to try. You won’t miss me, I promise. In fact, you’re probably breathing a little sigh of relief.
I mean, Enough of my fabulous life already, right?
Because, here’s the thing. I want to be in the moment, without worrying about capturing it. For what? So I have a picture in my phone? The photo will never even be in a box somewhere that I can sentimentally rifle through years from now.
Most of the time what I’m doing and seeing and how I’m being is not even interesting. At all. It just seems interesting when I post it a picture with a clever caption. Most of the time I’m just as bored as you are.
My photos and posts make it seem like everything is fantastic and I’m having the most exciting life ever… but if I’m being honest, I’m a little bored with it all. Yes, all of it.
“PJ’s and Netflix night!” Yeah, we know. You’re bored. Thanks for the post. Like.
As wonderful as it is to see what everybody is doing, it’s a bit cray cray too. Yes, I just used cray cray in a sentence. I can be bored and lazy. I’ve been dumbed down by screens and apps. My thumbs hurt.
I know way too much about you, and you know way too much about me… well, the Facebook Me anyway. Don’t be fooled.
Susan Sontag, the queen of everything, sums it up pretty nicely in the following quotations about photography and the role that photos play in our world:
“The camera makes everyone a tourist in other people’s reality, and eventually in one’s own.” Okay, that’s sad. Thanks, Susan. Thanks for being such a downer.
“So successful has been the camera’s role in beautifying the world that photographs, rather than the world, have become the standard of the beautiful.” Oh just stop it, Susan.
“Life is not significant details, illuminated by a flash, fixed forever. Photographs are.” Damn, Susan. #toosmartforme.
Over-poster? Yes, that’s me. Guilty as charged. But it’s time for a change. At least it is for me. I’m not giving up social media completely. Don’t be ridiculous. And really, I’m putting myself down, not you, so post away if it’s your prerogative.
Don’t take these comments personally… but do give them some thought. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. — they’re all fun, they really are. Social media works to keep us connected and a little less lonely. It can be wonderful when you need support.
It’s nice to share bits and pieces of our lives through photos and check-ins, and I honestly do feel closer to many people because of it. That’s not such a bad thing, is it?
But, since I am in full-awareness mode these days, clean and sober if you will, I must admit that Facebook (especially) is a bit like candy for me, and I can’t keep my sticky fingers out of the damn bag.
I, for one, plan to share and post a little less. I will indeed try to check it less. I want to seek and experience moments and feelings that do not require or inspire an automatic social media post.
I’m cutting back. Trimming the fat. You don’t have to, but honestly, it wouldn’t hurt to try. Let’s be real people again. Of course, I say this as I write my blog and instantly share on Facebook. Ah, and so it goes, hypocrisy in action. Read, read, read. Like, Like, Like. Who am I kidding?
Kimberly Valzania practices mindful gratefulness. She feels creatively driven to write about and share her personal experience and opinion on weight loss, fitness, life changes, adventures in parenting, day-to-day triumphs (and failures), and the truth-seeking struggle of simply being human. She believes that life is indeed a journey, and that precious moments appear (like magic) when you surrender, hold hands, and fling yourself into the great, wide, open.