Free Yourself Friday: Technology & Social Media
I ended up having the day off last Friday. I decided to head to a place that I hold very close to my heart, Canyon Park, where I practically grew up. My parents would take me here to hike, camp, enjoy nature since I can remember. My first steps may have even been on one of these trails. Not really, but you get the point. This place has become even more important to me since my dad’s passing, bringing back so many great memories.
Last Friday, I hiked and brought along my dSLR camera, a journal, music, and some water. I headed up the usual waterfall trail route. I like my alone time to really be alone time, so I pretty much try to tune everyone else out. I continued on towards the waterfall, stopping occasionally to take in the sights and capture some photographs. When I arrived at the waterfall there were only 2 other people there, a couple women chatting. I sat down to take in the scenery, then a few more people walked up. It looked like an older women with her grandson on her back, 2 middle-aged women and another young boy. The young boy started running around while I noticed the middle aged women with their cell phones out taking selfies, yes SELFIES. No photo of the waterfall…selfies. The little boy came over and one of the women snapped a photo alongside him with the waterfall in the background. Maybe that made it a little better? I don’t know. After this scene, 3 teenage girls walked up and began snapping pictures of each other in front of the waterfall. One girl posing in front of it asking, “Am I in it?”
Since when have our experiences become something that we NEED to share with the world? I mean, I don’t know that these women and girls are going to post these photos, so I guess that is an assumption, but let’s assume they are. I have been that person. This is coming from a place of self reflection as well as an examination of society. There was a time when we didn’t have technology and social media at the tip of our fingers to show exactly what we are doing and where we are doing it immediately in the moment, or maybe in a #latergram. We may have taken photos and developed them a week, a month, years later then shared them with someone at that point. We didn’t run outside and scream from the rooftops about this great place we went, throwing duplicates of each photo into the air. I did decided to take my dSLR on my hike to take some nature photos to capture the inspiring sights.
I mean I got to a point where I shared my meals, outfits, trips, ups and downs with the internet. Was this necessarily a bad thing? I think it can become ridiculous. My platform of choice is instagram. I have always been one to scroll through the news feed on Facebook and mostly just look at the photos anyway. That is beside the point. When does this sharing become too much? I think there are certain lines that get crossed. Is there a point when our reason and motivation behind WHY we post certain things gets out of hand? I think so. When getting a great photo opportunity is always in the forefront of your mind, rather than enjoying the moments; I think it may have gone too far. If after posting a photo or status, you obsessively check the “likes” coming in; it has definitely gone too far. If we share so that our family members can see what we are up to, I think we are pretty good shape. When it becomes more of a moment of showing off, it’s definitely gone too far. I can’t say that I fit into all of these categories, but I recognize them.
These revelations came at a time that I have decided to completely give up instagram from at least 30 days. Read the blog post about my goals for 2015. I have continued to post a bit on Facebook and vowed to only use most of my social media platforms to promote my brand, Fashionista Problems. I am speaking from an interesting position since a lot of what I do relies on the use of social media. This time away from the obsessive posting and checking of instagram has helped me refocus. It is ridiculous the amount of times I went to click on the Instagram app on my phone at first (which I actually deleted for the time being). It had just become a compulsive motion. I think I have pretty much broken that now. I have found other things to do with my time that I was wasting before. This year as a whole I am concentrating on my brand, solely getting my blog up and running consistently. I have also begun an online workshop and have become addicted to podcasts. I would much rather “waste” my time broadening my knowledge than listening to some awful song over and over again on the radio, or wasting my time on social media. Don’t get me wrong, I will be coming back. Social media is an essential element in promoting anything these days, and yes I enjoy sharing certain meals, outfits and moments to those who enjoy viewing them. I just needed this time to reevaluate the situation and refocus, a bit of a detox. Honestly, my mind has felt clearer since reducing my social media/technology intake. I also feel so much more inspired!
This new Free Yourself series is going to focus on the things I decide to free myself from and reevaluate throughout the year. It may be something new every month, every couple months, weekly. We will see, but I encourage you to look at what is holding you back in life. Whether it be social media, smoking cigarettes, eating poorly, drinking too much, whatever it may be. Feel free to share down below that you are vowing to Free Yourself of this thing, person, habit. You can also send me an email if you feel more comfortable doing that. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Set Yourself Free,
Miss Fashionista Problems