|This is how I'm starting to feel.|
I don't like what I see in our society. I don't like how we've lost our community. If we removed our walls there would be perfect strangers living their lives just a few feet apart yet completely oblivious to each other.
Driving is weird. I sit at a stop light, just a few feet away from strangers coming and going, separated by some metal, taking no notice of each other. We don't even wave! People use to wave.
I feel so disconnected and disassociated anymore. Sometimes it feels like I'm not even a person, like none of us are people. It's like we're mindless drones, rushing about, doing meaningless tasks, plugging our brains in to electronics. Life is passing us by. We're going to look back on our lives and remember our kids growing up so fast while we were watching TV or looking at pictures on Facebook.
Facebook. I love and hate Facebook. It is great for meeting local mama friends, and for connecting with likeminded people across the world. It's great for "finding your tribe" and for learning what's going on everywhere. But, ultimately, my Facebook friends are meaningless in my life. Don't get me wrong, I care a lot about several of them, but for the most part, they are pictures and words that I interact with while my mind is plugged in to a computer. They're not a part of my life, they're a part of my sedentary, distracted mind. I do value the connections I've made on Facebook, but, like I said, it's ultimately meaningless. Also, it's kinda unnatural to keep in contact with people I went to elementary school with but with whom I have not maintained a friendship. People are supposed to come and go in your life, and with Facebook it's like I'm collecting everyone I've ever interacted with. But you know what? People change. The people I went to school with are different people now, and let's be honest - we're only Facebook friends so we can stalk each others photos and compare ourselves. Lame.
|I recommend this book.|
And it's not just Facebook, it's craigslist, it's my RSS reader, it's my e-mail, it's Netflix, it's all this stupid crap that I keep up with. I subscribe to a blog because I like it, but then it becomes almost a burden having to keep up with it. My RSS reader has over 300 unread posts right now, despite me checking it daily. It's ridiculous. And do I really need to be reading all this? Yes, The Bloggess is freaking hilarious, and yes I like looking at stupid duckface pics, but ultimately it's all meaningless (I keep saying that - "ultimately it's all meaningless" - because it is, it's all meaningless!). Sure, I read craft blogs and birthy blogs, but ya know what? I'm pretty creative on my own and I'm done having kids. I'm enough of a birth nerd to enlighten mamas on the birth industry without keeping up with what all the birth bloggers are up to. If something crazy huge happens in the birth community, I'm positive news of it will trickle down to me.
I watched a documentary on the Amish last night and it was perfect timing for me. They put into words a lot of what I've been feeling lately. They resist technological progress because they don't want it to interfere with their process and their community. And they're so right! The easier things become, the more separated we become. We've lost our community. We no longer need to harvest together or sew together, there are very few real skills that are still being passed along. There's not that community bond between us anymore. We're so isolated. There's a saying about life being about the journey, not the destination, and I think it relates here. Life isn't about microwaving a quick meal, it's about growing, harvesting, and cooking it together. It's about LIVING, not just handing your mind over to gadgets!
So here's what I'm going to do. In my local mama group on Facebook, I'm going to make someone else an admin so they can add people and I'm going to post my phone number so we can still keep in touch. I'm going to set up a bunch of playdates and start being social. (Side note: I'm going to stop worrying about keeping my house spotless for playdates - We have kids and it's obvious that life is happening here. I always have a ton of projects going, and it's totally normal. I think it's healthy for us mamas to see each other's homes in their actual states. Very few of us keep perfectly tidy homes all the time, and seeing other REAL homes that are really being lived in is good for us! It shows us that we're all people and that it's normal to live in a house that looks lived in). I'm going to have Zach change my Facebook password and I'm making a goal of staying off the computer for a whole 31-day month. I've "tried" taking breaks from Facebook before and have failed pretty quickly, but this time I have a real motivation. I WANT to do this. I NEED to do this. I'm going to go out more and try to connect to humanity and nature more. I'm tired of feeling so disconnected. This isn't how life is supposed to be.
I feel like I've been asleep for the past few years, like I've missed out on my early 20's. I'm waking up now, I'm unplugging, and I'm going to go LIVE! It's not just about what I am doing online, but what I'm not doing when I'm online. I feel like my body and brain are slowly decaying while I sit on my increasingly fat ass staring at this bright screen.
Wish me luck! I'm expecting to be irritable for the first few days while I adjust to actually thinking again. I plan to fix my sewing machine, to crochet, to finish some of my home improvement projects, to play with my kids more, to visit friends and family more, to go on more walks, to read non-fiction books, and to rediscover the bright, bubbly, friendly, confident, fun person I use to be. And I bet anyone $5 I'll lose some weight during this break from busy, stimulated mindlessness.