Dear Social Media,
I’ve missed you.
I know this trial separation was my idea, but I really missed you. And now that I’m returning I hope you’ll take me back with open arms. Sure, we were only apart for three weeks, but I learned a lot about you and about myself during those 21 days.
As silly as it will sound to people who don’t understand you, I realized that you make everything better. With Foursquare you turn an ordinary trip to the grocery store or pharmacy into an exciting adventure in which I tussle with residents to be crowned as mayor of my favorite local establishments. The hours I spend grading essays and reading quizzes don’t seem so bad when I can take occasional breaks to browse my favorite blogs. And when I get home from a long day at work and I’m too tired to read or write (or I’m tired of watching hours upon hours of wrestling with hubster) you are there with Pinterest letting me just relax and click through beautiful photographs. Then you inspire me to create digital vision boards of my own because you get that I’m a dreamer and you remind me I’m not the only one.
And yes I even will admit that sometimes I’m lost without. I’m not ashamed to say I get most of my news from you, at least indirectly. I know what’s going on in my city, my state, my country, and in my world because of the news articles you direct me to through blog posts, Twitter timelines and Facebook feeds. When storms came raging through my town before sunrise last Monday morning, I was so afraid without you to cling to. I’m so used to tracking tornadoes through my favorite meteorologist’s tweets. The thought never crossed my mind to just turn on the television. It’s crazy how much I depend on you.
And therein lies the problem. I missed you and I am looking forward to having you back in my life, but some things between us must change.
1) I need my friends. I realized over these past three weeks that I’ve allowed you to make me a bad friend. I’m always so busy trying to update my blogs and read all the interesting articles being posted on Facebook and Twitter that I don’t make time to have real conversations with my friends. During our break, I spent hours on the phone talking to my gal pals and I really enjoyed it. And so I hope you’ll understand that sometimes I need to step away from my computer and pick up the phone (and not just to text).
2) I need my fun. When I announced on all my social media networks that I’d be taking a sabbatical I thought my heart would break a bit with each “See You Later” post. But instead, I felt a great weight lift from my shoulders. You see, somewhere along the way our relationship stopped being fun. There was a time when blogging was one of the great joys of my life. Then I found myself wrapped up in SEO, page views, and editorial calendars. And even worse I developed a bad case of blog envy – you know, scrolling through my favorite blogs coveting their huge number of followers, comments, and revenue-generating sponsors. What we had used to be so easy and lately it’s seemed like a chore. This has to change. I know that like any relationship, ours will require work. But I want our romance to be a labor of love, not just labor.
3) I need my freedom. Next January, I think I will need another break. I hope that doesn’t hurt your feelings, but it’s just something I think I’ll need to do. Let’s not forget that I stepped away from you for a while because I was even sacrificing my spiritual life to spend more time with you. My pastor helped me realize that is idolatry and I must be free from that. So as we reunite I hope you understand that things will be different. I must use more of my free time to pray and study the Bible and to read things other than blogs. I love to read books (Hello? I’m an English teacher!) but I rarely have time to do so because I spend hours each day writing blog posts and checking Twitter for, well, ideas for more blog posts.
I know you’ll understand; you get me and that’s why I love you. But I just wanted to let you know where I stand.
Now let’s go take some new Facebook profile pictures and try to recover my Foursquare mayorships!