I’ve argued-for a really long time now-that now is not the time for this. I’ve made up every excuse in the world, justifying every option other than this-and honestly writing it out feel a little stupid in doing so. But, I know it’s the gentle (yet firm) lead of the Lord.
When I attended She Speaks in 2017, I heard a great deal about the importance of building a platform. If I ever wanted to write professionally, I had to more than just exist virtually-I had to always “be present” at the literal press of a button. To write, I had to first be seen, and the only way to be seen was to post, and post often. Being of the millennial generation social media has just been a part of my life so this wasn’t really hard for me at first. The idea of a platform didn’t seem too unattainable. Then, I got pregnant. And got pregnant again. And almost lost my life. And now-well, somehow, social media has turned toxic. Exhausting. And nothing is being built on a platform but a false idol and false ideas about life, love and most importantly, truth.
I’ve tried to “step away” a few times. And I always end up logging on for one excuse or another. And then, the cycle starts all over again. If we’re being honest, it comes from my desperate need to have control of the narrative. There is a level of fear that without knowledge of everything at any and all times, something unexpected will happen that I could have prevented or intercepted. However, more importantly, there is an even bigger fear that someone’s perception of me will be different from my preference. There is a fear that they will misinterpret me-or worse-decide they don’t like me or don’t find me of value. And then what? If I am not constantly working for the approval of everyone then won’t I be forgotten?
That may sound stupid. And even a little embarrassing. But it’s honest.
I have a lot going on in the next year. Especially in the next few months. I’ll be making my way back onto the stage. I’m helping plan my class reunion. The boys will start Pre-K. This time next year they will start kindergarten. My interview with Amanda comes out and will be dispersed to news stations all over the country. There will be a lot of “content” that normally, I would post. But instead, God is asking me to be quiet in this arena, and to not only not post, but not have a presence on social media for an entire year. Not just for a few days. Or a few months. But a whole calendar year.
It doesn’t logistically make sense in a world of technology. No “real time news”. No “real time” announcements from births to bible study times. No finding deals on marketplace or selling baby clothes. None of the “conveniences” I’ve used as justification for the past year (or maybe longer than that). It feels counterproductive as I long for community and yet, I am removing myself from the largest one that I am a part of. I long for connection, and yet, He’s asking me to disconnect. I want to be seen, and yet, He’s asked me not to post photos or stories or posts or anything.
But I know it’s what I’m supposed to do. As stupid as it feels.
I watched as Jack toddled up the steps last night in Toy Story jammies with Paw Patrol cups in hand and felt a lump come up in my throat. It’s going so fast. Banks now wears the little red Mickey Mouse pajamas he used to wear, and it all seems so surreal. I HATE the whole saying “the days are long but the years are short”. Truly I do. But also, it’s not wrong. The days are so very long (more often than not) and the years, they’re way too short.
So instead of wasting so much of my time this year in particular, numbly scrolling, desperately posting, always comparing, I’m going to turn off the mindless noise and focus on the real life in front of me. The three growing boys running through my house. The husband sitting next to me. The dogs barking and playing in the yard. I’m going to do the things I want to do. I’m going to pick up a paint brush and hang the curtains I like. I’m going to light some candles and plant some flowers. I’m going to read books and take naps and do hard, heart work. The work I need to do. And I may never write that book. A publisher may see this one post and think “nope-she’s not committed”. I don’t know. I truly don’t know how it will ever work-as this feels like a glorified social suicide. But, I’m trusting that somehow God will carry me through it since he asked me to give it up.
I don’t know if I will blog more-(so you can follow me here or not-if you subscribe, you should get posts in your email if I post,)- but I do hope I will write more. I hope there is more room for creative space instead of chaotic clutter.
If you’re a “real life” friend, I hope to see you more. I hope we can actually talk. If you’re an acquaintance, I hope this year is good to you, and maybe we should become real life friends? Either way, thanks for being a part of this social media space with me. And when I enter back into it, I pray I’ll come from a much healthier, more “whole” place.
Kelly Aylor says
I have seriously been feeling like I’m being led to get off of social media as well and just enjoy real life and seeing your email in my inbox really solidifies that is what I need to do. I wish you the best in the upcoming year & I hope it treats us both well!!!