Do you enjoy your own company?
Do you even remember what it’s like to be in your own company? Because I don’t. I quite honestly forgot. And it’s not hard to forget when, wherever you go, at any time of day now, you can surround yourself with others virtually and constantly be “connected” to your friends.
Think about it. You’re at home alone in your room but you’re connected when you’re on Facebook, distracting yourself from your internal dialogue. Or, as soon as a great thought hits you, you Tweet about it. Hell, it doesn’t even have to be a great thought, you could Tweet about what you’re eating for breakfast while you’re sitting there alone in your kitchen and have an interaction with people via Twitter. You could be out for a stroll on your own, enjoying the sights and taking beautiful photos, but immediately Instagram them only to excitedly see the likes and comments you get from friends two minutes later. That great restaurant you finally made it to? Check-in on Foursquare and immediately you know which other friends have been there and whether or not they like it. At all times of day, you are digitally connected to someone, free from having to spend that 15 minutes waiting for the bus, or those 5 minutes waiting for your coffee, or those precious 3 1/2 minutes when the train is above ground, trying to find a way to keep your thoughts occupied.
I have been trying very hard to disconnect myself as much as possible from all forms of social media, and even from my e-mail account. I mean seriously, am I that important that I need to checking my e-mail any chance I get? No. There are some people who do, or who are pressured to from their jobs or situations, yes. But do i? No. So, e-mail was removed from my phone, as was Facebook. I never got into the other apps, Facebook was enough social media for me already.
Then, this past week, I’ve recently been feeling slightly more lonely than usual. And I’m like, huh? Seriously. It was bit a strange. But then I realized that it was because when I was constantly connected there was never a moment for me to feel alone. And that’s a shame, because shouldn’t you first and foremost enjoy your own company? I mean, aren’t you the person you spend the most time with? So, you want to enjoy who that person is right? But do you even remember who you are if you spend so much of your time posting photos/thoughts/comments/inane questions, etc., in order to elicit responses from other people? Can you easily remember and be proud of who you are, when you’re scrolling through people’s profiles, admiring what they’re doing and wondering if you should/want to/should have/could have/will do it too? Or what’s more, scoffing at what others are doing?
This is obviously all up to the discretion/character/desires/self-awareness of the individual, but I’m going to be honest here and say that I was doing things like that which was incredibly unlike me, and when you have a few minutes to sit down at the end of a busy day, why not turn on the computer and “catch up with your friends” only to see that those few minutes turned into 30? I’m sure it’s not like this for everyone, but for me, I unwittingly fall into the spiral that is social media and I think those moments could much better be spent actually calling a friend and chatting with them.
So my challenge for the summer, as I gear up to move to Spain on my own, in my own company, is to reacquaint myself with me and who I really am. Not who I want to portray myself as via social media, but who I truly am. And to enjoy those precious idle moments that I have with myself. A whole lot less of Facebook (it has its benefits when used appropriately, thus a need to keep it), and keeping it old school by not taking my phone except to call someone. It’s time to delve back into the realm of my internal dialogue, and remember how to move away from carrying a conversation with people in cyberspace, to carrying a conversation with myself.