Sometimes we just have to take the plunge and then learn how to swim! It’s not for the lack of courage but for the ways we sometimes prioritize the things and promise to get back to them ‘later’
After what would have been a year of being offline from the World Pulse Community, and promising to get back to my writing, it took me loads of courage to simply jump onto my computer in the middle of the night to retrain myself to return to what I love so dearly and what allows me to share my little piece of planet earth, with the rest of the world via a platform and a community.
So slowly and as of this moment, I am back! Welcome me back please; like, share, comment. In fact that was the reason I stopped to take a deep breath. The world has become so self absorbed and I needed to step back if only to enjoy the scenery and the many joys of being offline and not bombarded by likes, shares and calls to action to digitize our breathing patterns. Then inertia set in, as I had been so comfortable enjoying the freedom from most forms of digital dominance.
What causes inertia? There are many things but mine stemmed from eventually having loads of stories to share but keeping them swirling around in my head over the months and not being ignited to share them because; I was still enjoying the ancient freedom of disconnecting to stay connected. Making meet ups and reunions become a major part of the semi-offline experience.
You see, I have been on many adventures the past year and some of them are way too worthy of NOT keeping the mentally stored memories to myself, yet there was this sense of enjoying the moment and the memories which in some ways, felt like a therapy in and of itself. Kind of like a way of getting the words right only by capturing the memories in my mind’s eyes.
So herein are some of my findings before I share at least one detail of my adventures!
I sat one day and recognized that abundance was becoming a scarce commodity among some of the spaces that I had been familiar with. Abundance was beginning to 'run out' because it was being craved for the wrong reasons. People were trampling on each other to get the same outcomes without recognizing that we are all made to have our own lots of fortune, fame, flourishing and fabulousness at different times and in different doses.
There was now an abundance of scarcity; of enjoyment and peace of mind, because everyone was rushing for the first prize without paying attention to the runners up and the many rare opportunities that being last in the line can offer - for it is only by a sudden ring of the bell, that the line gets turned around and voila, the last becomes the first in line!
As humanity, we have become such creatures of indulgence and materialism, that the fortunes we have begin to seek, have to do with the number of likes and the ways that humanity will respond to our posts.
I temporarily removed myself from social media for a “short term detox” and that included all networking, even LinkedIn, where incidentally, everyone wants to benefit from their mystery powers of anonymous searching; as if our own identities have become so shrouded in the treats of going incognito for a free thrill of short term exchange of spying powers. Have we truly become such an invisible people, who wish to be unidentified for some things and liked, even loved for other things?
This adventure to going offline was also a great experience of finally getting a personalized text or email or even a call and to really have an occasion to remember what someone sounded or looked like. In the process, there were many outings to grab coffee, sitting face to face and embracing the occasions of verbalizing a like, as opposed to clicking a button.
The offline adventure also meant that some folks who had not seen me online were assuming that I was overseas and so they did not feel the need to check in OR if they did check in, the famous line was “are you in the country” - hello dears, how about an opening greeting and let me say where I am?
We have really lost the art of communication and of gentleness due to the ability to staying logged in and to having easy click access 24/7 without recognizing the extent our lack of communication is having on our relationship care.
I then instituted a new method of managing the connections that were easy to access by driving, walking or voice to voice calling without wifi access - once you were close to me within less than 100 minutes, we would no longer be connected by some of the social media platforms. After all, why take the joy out of really seeing you? And don’t tell me, it’s because I am always ‘busy’ - what one of my high school teachers always reminded us, what that busy people make the time.
One of my other adventures was to start walking more - especially to close by places that would contribute to pollution and be considered a wasteful drive.
On the first such adventure, one of my neighbours offered me a ride and on many occasions, taxis would toot and advise me of their having a vacant seat saved just for me!
I felt little guilt and even less fear of saying that I had not found it convenient to stay connected if we were able to reach each other easier in person and it was even better to remind folks that hugs play a vital role in human connection.
Then, the adventure that stole the show was the giving up call waiting, voice mail, call forwarding and all the fanciful features that make people wait unnecessarily and waste time anticipating when they would next hear from each other. If you called me and I was on another call, yes you would get a busy tone and to some that was actually an assumption that they had called the incorrect number. That has been fun! I still get the occasional - I called your number but perhaps I had saved it incorrectly and I have to retort - the busy tone is real.
Having returned to social media in the last 45 days, it was also a slow and gradual return and first it was about posting memories. I had so many memory reminders that there was really no need to find new things to post and so this was a rich experience of seeing what made me smile 4 years ago and what Facebook thought was important to me. Funny as ever were the friend anniversaries of folks who I have known almost a lifetime, yet Facebook says we are friends one year.
The joys of being back online on my own terms, cannot be overstated. I have taken my time to return to some platforms and the leisurely approach means that I feel more appreciative about my carbon footprint on the tech space and of my own wellbeing as a consumer of technology, communications and relationships.
Should we enforce personal rules to get ourselves used to a healthy regimen of managing our online and offline engagement without the likes and the comments? Preservation of our composure is so valuable in these fast times and if we can do one more thing for self-care to be realized, it has to start with a little bit of selfishly loving one’s freedom to engage on our own terms.
Perhaps I should 'welcome' myself back to World Pulse and perhaps I should 'like' the feeling of being back. Thank you for allowing me to 'share' this journey of envorimental mindfulness.