It’s been 120 days since I walked away. Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Plugs pulled. Posts backed up for posterity. And now time for a check-in. Folks have wondered How’s it going? Any regrets some ask.
I ponder the pros and cons. I query folks who’ve spent time with me these past four months, curious as to what differences about me they notice.
Some folks miss my deep dives into social issues, unpacking where bias was being interjected into our perceptions, outlining how our thinking was being manipulated, and reconciling what we saw “out there” as a reflection of our own inner thoughts and behaviors toward ourselves.
At first, I missed being able to check in with close friends and family without actually, well, checking in with them. Occasional encouragements to voyeuristically view my wife’s Facebook posts from those closest to me made me feel like an Amish woman circumventing the dictum of no television by watching my neighbor’s tv set.
Instead, I took to texting, then emailing, then actually calling and talking to people. I set up Zoom ice cream dates with my bestie, virtual coffees and lunches with others, and even face to face coffees and lunches with those close enough to see in-person.
Connections felt deeper. Conversations too. Real conversations. Dialogues, introspections, ponderings. Great big gaps of serene silence not needing to be filled.
I found I didn’t miss the hours it took me to track down facts, back up premises, dissect arguments and expand perspectives. More time. For me. And the ephemera I like to learn.
I took time at Thanksgiving to explore what I wanted the next five years of my life to look like, thanks to Raymond Charles Barker’s outstanding book The Power of Decision. I made decisions for myself. And I began moving toward those decisions.
In 120 days I’ve managed to close a business, open an estate, be fully present to my family during the transition of the family patriarch, re-launch a weekly newsletter, get back to a regular writing regimen, research topics of interest to me. And read.
Oh, how I’m reading! I’m averaging a bit more than a book a day. All while moving forward my other tasks, and (mostly) without having to feel rushed or stressed.
I’m reading all sorts of fiction, non-fiction, how-to books, spiritual books, personal development and anything else that strikes my fancy at the time.
I’m more present to my family. Less affected by things happening “out there.” (Although several folks have reminded me that I wasn’t really emotionally swayed by most of what was posted on social media in the first place.)
When I talk about leaving social media, I get mixed responses. Some think I’m brave. Some say insane. I listen politely when people gasp I couldn’t possibly leave social media! It’s too important for building their business they tell me.
I listen. I hear what they’re saying.
And then I remind myself of what my business was like before social media. I had a thriving – and active – subscriber base, a daily radio show; a full calendar of clients, events, speaking engagements and media coverage. And no trolls. Okay, there were those two voicemails – hate messages– about my book on The Art of Tithing. But like Oprah said, you can’t please all the people all the time, right?
In addition to writing this newsletter, I still pen new musings on Medium, in various publications. If you want to stay up on my writings, I invite you to subscribe.
You can also catch my videos, the What Would Paula Say? talk show and media appearances on YouTube. There’s a video interview with me on the New Thought For a New World show hosted by Dale Worley from INTA, that should be posted in the next week or so.
Mostly I’m simply going with the flow. I’ve made time for creativity, for play, for snuggles, cooking and stillness. I’m not even remotely interested in jumping back in.
Not even the alternative social media interests me. I want to engage with real people. People I know, am getting to know, or have yet to meet. Folks who truly like interacting with the reality of me.