1. You spend most of your time around other girls.
2. When one person catches something, everyone catches something.
The "something" in my metaphor is not a cold or your period because your cycles sync up (I was a camper and a counselor at summer camp for years, it happens), but rather ideas, trends, thoughts, and feelings. And vintage clothes, but that's not really pertinent here.
I've noticed lately that a lot of bloggers that I subscribe to are talking about Internet detox, the stressful aspects of social networking, and self-doubt when it comes to blogs. In fact, this is hardly a recent phenomenon--it seems like as far back as I can remember bloggers have been blogging and tweeting about how stressful it is to keep blogging and tweetin, or completely eliminating accounts to avoid absent-minded surfing.
It's something that I have never really been able to fully relate to.
I am on the internet a lot. My job requires me to be on a computer for the entire 10-12 hours I'm usually working. As a result I usually have about 4 tabs open with Bloglovin, Twitter, my blog, and maybe Facebook. Even after work when Rob and I are sitting around watching TV we're usually on our computers--not avoiding each other, but sharing and communicating while we share and communicate with others.
A few weeks ago I was feeling kind of stressed about various things in my life and my therapist suggested that some of the stress might be coming from interactions with people on Facebook. So at her suggestion, I gave it up for a week. During that week I realized that there were a lot of things about Facebook I really enjoyed (getting to communicate with people I can't usually talk to easily, planning get-togethers) and that the source of all my stress came from the fact that I lacked the self-control to block or avoid those of my "friends" with toxic statuses or stressful interactions. Knowing full well that viewing their profiles could or would upset me, I still stalked their profiles and gave them the power to stress me out. I also realized that the benefits of social networking in this case far outweighed the probability of it stressing me out or upsetting me.
To me the internet, like anything else, isn't all or nothing. When I want to use the internet and tweet and blog, I do. When I don't want to, I don't. It's a big part of my life, but it's not my life. And if I stopped enjoying it, it's something that I could easily not do. Honestly, I think completely deleting an account or refusing to tweet or blog because I feel like I'm doing something wrong only gives it even greater control over me and my actions. Just like with anything in life, social media in moderation isn't in and of itself toxic; it's up to each of us to manage the power it has in our lives, whether that power be for good or for evil.
And isn't this true of "real" life, too? We don't have to completely avoid social interaction simply because these toxic influences exist, and it's up to each of us to take the initiative to clear our lives of toxic influences and friendships.
I hope, as usual, that nobody takes this as offensive. I understand that people have a variety of reasons for choosing to abstain from social networking, from crazy family members (I've had my share) to privacy concerns; I only sought to explain why I personally enjoy social networking and choose not to abstain, rather than to pass any judgement on any of my wonderful readers or to suggest that bloggers shouldn't write about these feelings. I pride myself on being pretty honest on here and I thought I would throw in my two cents on this particular issue.
I hope you all are having a great Labor Day weekend so far. Get out and enjoy the fresh air, but don't feel too guilty for catching up on blogs, tweets, and Facebook!