I spend way too much time looking at other people's lives instead of living my own. I often think, "how narcissistic can people be to think that their lives are this interesting?" and then I realize that I'm reading what they wrote and spending a portion of my life thinking about it so I guess they were right in the first place. I realized before Thanksgiving that I only take pictures if I think they are going to worthy of sharing via social media or the blog. I used to take pictures of everything all the time! And I love looking at my old pictures even though most of them wouldn't mean a thing to anyone else. I talk to my friends rarely because it's expected that I'll learn about what's going on in their lives via their posts when all I'm really getting is a sanitized version of the events of their lives. I see that friends are pregnant or moved or whatever and they look lovely and happy and perfect but I don't know how they feel about these things. I don't know if they are scared or disappointed or questioning or excited about something silly or need to recommend a flavor of frozen yogurt. And they don't know those things about me because we don't actually talk. I hate that.
If I don't care about how you are dealing with the big events in your life, then we are not really friends and I shouldn't be investing time and energy into thinking about your vacation in the first place.
Plus, it turns us all into bitchy teenagers. Maybe not outwardly and maybe not you, but for many, it does, myself included. Sometimes I think I'm going to whittle my friends list down to the people who I actually see or would speak to on the phone but then I message that guy from high school who's a realtor or that girl I met once who flips houses or that friend of a friend who is a construction manager for suggestions and advice (all happened in the past month) and I think, hmmm, this is kind of handy.
So I think I'm going to extract myself from daily interactions with the Book of Face. I've removed the shortcut from my browser's toolbar. I'm going to reset my preferences so that I get emails when I have invitations or messages. But I'm not going to check it everyday. When we get our house (fingers still crossed) or, one day, hopefully (prayerfully, impatiently, why isn't this freaking working out) have a baby, I'll share pictures and small updates here and there but I probably won't saturate my wall with photos. Because I wouldn't be doing it for the right reasons. The whole world doesn't need to see pictures of my life or know what I did today. The world does not actually care, no matter how much I wish it would.
I'm going to make a commitment to live my life for myself and for my family and not for anyone else. I'm making a commitment in 2012 to live in the moment and not for the moment as it will be captured on the internet for all eternity. If nobody knows about the awesome dinner I made? That's fine. If you don't see all the Christmas gifts that I made this year? No biggie (even thought they are really, REALLY cute!). If I don't post about how awesome my husband is, that's okay, I probably told him to his face and it really doesn't matter if anyone else knows it.
all illustrations via pinterest.com
Anyway...I'm extracting myself. Here's what I think I'll share: big announcements, information I think colleagues and friends would find interesting or would make them smile, and requests for help (for example, right now I need a good HVAC person!). I pledge to check the aforementioned website only once a day, hopefully taking it down to once or twice a week. The time that I did spend with the website, I am going to try to spend with actual real-life people either in person or on the phone, hearing their actual real-life voice. If something big happens in your life and you want me to know about it, I would love to talk to you! If you are feeling low and need to vent, I would love to talk to you. Let's create real support, real celebration, and real relationships in 2012!