Re-Writing Her Presence

Nicole Joseph-Chin
Posted August 28, 2018

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. 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments 33

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jlanghus
Aug 29, 2018
Aug 29, 2018

Hi Nicole,

Welcome back:-) Thanks for sharing your story about connection vs. disconnection, self care and many more things that really resonated with me. I keep thinking I could use a detox from social media. The biggest challenge is I feel like I always need to be "there" for everyone now. I don't want to disappoint or let anyone down, so that immediately feels and is quite draining, but my drive to help and want to help others is so overwhelming that I give into it. The downside is, I'm quite tired most of the time. And, also people look at you like you're totally insane if you tell them you don't use Whatsapp and don't have your phone turned on all the time. I seriously dislike being "on call" all the time. It feels very restrictive to me. I know I just said that I like to be available for people, but one thing is to respond when you like, and another being literally "on call" 24/7. That's too much for me. I need some down time, and I need to create more of that; not less. So, I totally hear you. I think did a great thing for yourself to detox, and realize that you needed to. A lot of people don't seem to realize this. I'm not sure where it's going in the future, but for me I need to figure this fine balance out:-)

Looking forward to hearing more about your memories from the past year, if you choose to do so:-)

Hope you have a great day!

Nicole Joseph-Chin
Aug 30, 2018
Aug 30, 2018

Thank you! Yes it takes courage to make the first step. But once you recognize the benefits, the guilt and fear goes away. Self care helps us be there for others and so the must understand and appreciate the value you place on refreshing and rebooting.

jlanghus
Aug 30, 2018
Aug 30, 2018

You're welcome:-) That makes perfect sense. Thank you!

Hope you have a great day!

Sharon Makunura
Aug 29, 2018
Aug 29, 2018

Hey Nicole, well done for being bold enough to reclaim your time and attention. We need to make the effort to keep things in check.

Nicole Joseph-Chin
Aug 30, 2018
Aug 30, 2018

Thank you! We all must know when it's that time. I'm glad to be back! More to come. Thanks for your inspiration.

Jacqueline Namutaawe
Aug 29, 2018
Aug 29, 2018

Welcome back sister welcome home. We missed you indeed! Thanks for sharing your story and hope you enjoyed the adventure of going offline.

Nicole Joseph-Chin
Aug 30, 2018
Aug 30, 2018

I'm so glad to be back. Thanks so much for the warm welcome and applause. Hugs to you!

Jacqueline Namutaawe
Sep 03, 2018
Sep 03, 2018

Oh indeed a big hug to me especially this cold Monday evening

Tamarack Verrall
Aug 29, 2018
Aug 29, 2018

Hi Nicole,

Welcome back and congrats on your taking time completely offline. The best part is, you took the time and now are back with us, and with some great advice for ways of taking care of ourselves with this enormous platform full of news that both breaks the heart and opens it wide, receiving such amazing news of action and experiencing such love from and toward each other. The question of how to balance this intensity with maintaining strength and health is such an important question. I struggle too with the balance, more from wanting to be up to date with the news, and not wanting to become depleted of energy from the ongoing and global violence. Logging onto WorldPulse is different for me from reading news generally, because behind every story I celebrate meeting and/or staying in touch with a sister, and some brothers here, who are working for change. I weave my time online with taking time in silence, in nature, and with dear friends who live within walking or easy travelling distance. Your story resonates with me for the importance for us all to take really good care of ourselves. And to celebrate the return of you, dear sister, with all of the wonderful work you do.

With love in sisterhood,
Tam

Nicole Joseph-Chin
Aug 30, 2018
Aug 30, 2018

Dear Tam,
Thank you! Yes the return to WP means a lot particularly because the back stories are of grace, mission, passion and courage. I recommend the therapy of disconnection to keep our equilibrium and to renew ourselves. Most of all, the face to face is such a rewarding experience and feeling for both!
Thank you for welcoming me back so kindly.

Gulzaib Tareen
Aug 30, 2018
Aug 30, 2018

Welcome again☺

Nicole Joseph-Chin
Sep 01, 2018
Sep 01, 2018

Thank you! It feels good to be back and reconnect in our community.

Gulzaib Tareen
Sep 05, 2018
Sep 05, 2018

Welcome:)

Jensine Larsen
Aug 30, 2018
Aug 30, 2018

Welcome back Nicole! I love how you have stated.... the art of communication and gentleness --- on your own terms! What an inspiring post!

Nicole Joseph-Chin
Sep 01, 2018
Sep 01, 2018

Thank you Jensine. I'm thrilled to reconnect and catch up with our many friends. Looking forward to our many engagements and adventures.

Beth Lacey
Aug 31, 2018
Aug 31, 2018

Welcome back! You made a brave and wise decision to detox. We can get caught up in the process of things vs. the beauty of them. Almost like a contest. I hope you are feeling good about your slow and thoughtful return.
Beth

Nicole Joseph-Chin
Sep 01, 2018
Sep 01, 2018

Beth, thank you. I feel absolutely amazing and am about to embark on some new adventures just because I can do so after stepping away mentally.

kyla
Aug 31, 2018
Aug 31, 2018

Hi Nicole, thank you for sharing. I spend the majority of all my hours in front of a computer, online in some form almost always. Despite this I spend little time on social media platforms and feel disappointed at times knowing I can miss important updates but I have never liked being social online, preferring face to face catch ups. Whilst the ability we have today through technology to access so much amazing information and stay connected all the time is incredible, it also creates pressure to be always 'on' and available. Finding balance is hard but very important. One of the things I really liked about your article was you having the courage to start sharing again. There are so many ideas of things to share in my head that often go nowhere because I'm not sure if they would really help anyone. I think I need to be braver and 'do it anyway' because if even 1 person could benefit from anything I shared it would be really worthwhile.

Nicole Joseph-Chin
Sep 01, 2018
Sep 01, 2018

There's always someone ready to listen and to walk the journey with you. Go brave! Please feel free to contact me for any inspiration. Best wishes Kyla!

SanPatagonia
Sep 02, 2018
Sep 02, 2018

Welcome back, Nicole... sister, adventurer, seeker of further meaning...
Thank you for writing this mirror for the ones -as myself- who have been coming and going this WP community along the years. And yes, you're right - sometimes we need to go offline to resignify everything... to adjust our vision and enrich our worlds by going back to good old (and unplugged!) square one. "I stopped to take a deep breath", you wrote. Been there, done that. And it's so comforting that somebody else has done that too, and then come back renewed and ready to share more life and doings.
Stay around for some time now, and keep on writing about these mirrors to reflect us all.
Love!
San

Adanna
Sep 03, 2018
Sep 03, 2018

Dear Nicole,

Welcome back sister!

The first sentence really got my attention, I totally agree that sometimes, we just have to take the plunge and then learn how to swim!

Self care is definitely very important. Doing too many things at a time can leave us overwhelmed, stressed and even angry in some cases.

Thank you for sharing your journey and I would love to read more from you.

Love,
Adanna

Princesse MUHINDO Malembero
Sep 03, 2018
Sep 03, 2018

Bonjour Nicole,
Nous sommes fier de vous voir reconnecté et ravis de votre découverte au courant de votre moment offline mais aussi nous serons de plus en plus ravi en échangeant pour en profiter à ce que vous avez acquis. Merci d'avoir partager votre aventure et soyez la bienvenue !

Mwaka
Sep 03, 2018
Sep 03, 2018

Welcome back, good to have you back and for sharing your experience with a wide range of women.

Tarke Edith
Sep 03, 2018
Sep 03, 2018

Hello Nicole
you are welcome back to our platform thank you for sharing you story about connection we hope you are back with new ideas to keep us growing from one level to another

Tarke Edith
Sep 03, 2018
Sep 03, 2018

Hello Nicole
you are welcome back to our platform thank you for sharing you story about connection we hope you are back with new ideas to keep us growing from one level to another

Olubee
Sep 03, 2018
Sep 03, 2018

Dear Nicole,
Its really nice to read your adventure of going offline for a while, sometimes i think this is necessary, if we feel so, so that we can refresh and connect physically to loved ones.
Welcome back dear sis. Waiting to read more about your discoveries. Cheers

Karen Quiñones-Axalan
Sep 06, 2018
Sep 06, 2018

Welcome back, Nicole!

I too had social media detox from time to time, and I found more meaningful relationships when I do not need to check my phone. It is a blessing to be present, in the moment and enjoy whatever activiry I engaged in.

Thank you for sharing your experience. We are now a stronger online community with you back here.

Ngwa Damaris
Sep 07, 2018
Sep 07, 2018

Welcome back.I know u now have a clean and refreshed brain so u will flood us with goodies from ur offline holiday:)

Sophie Ngassa
Sep 08, 2018
Sep 08, 2018

Dear Nicole, happy to have you here again. Your story builds me. It gives me a sense of commitment. Thanks for sharing dear.

Jafreen Alamgir
Sep 08, 2018
Sep 08, 2018

Thank you so much for sharing an inspiring story of how to reconnect to the past world in a new way.
Lots of love! :)

Ngala Nadege
Sep 13, 2018
Sep 13, 2018

Welcome back sister.thanks for sharing

Rosylyne Nabaala
Sep 25, 2018
Sep 25, 2018

Wow! I like this thank you so much for sharing and knowing the importance of connection.

Gladys Muthara
Sep 29, 2018
Sep 29, 2018

Hi Nicole,
Welcome back to World Pulse. I really admire your sense of self-awareness and discipline to have thought you actually needed to detox from social media and actually do it and follow through with your plan. It's truly admirable.

Big lesson! Definitely something to think about for me.

Thank you so much for sharing this piece about your experience #While Away from social media. Blessings in all you do.