Social Culture Shock

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In the being back on social in the last couple months, I’ve been asked if it is weird using it again.

Answer? YES! And at the same time no.

No because I was using it for work on hiatus. It’s not like I forgot how to use Twitter. (I may have had to look up videos on Snapchat like a 60 year old…it changed a lot in a year, okay?)

Yes because, well, it’s kind of intrusive.

In my first week back on the grid, I tried to catch up on messages that had accumulated over the year. I commented on a post a friend had tagged me in while I was messaging. As soon as I responded, there was a response back and then responses from others.

My introverted brain began to hyperventilate slightly. I loved these people, but I was a little taken aback by the rapid nature of the communication. I was doing this in my quiet time—my recharge time. Suddenly it felt like the world was infringing on that.

I had to get off, take a break, not be there. It felt like culture shock.

In my time away from social media, I noticed that I had to work harder to connect with friends and loved ones. I had to make more of an effort. Obviously, it was worth the effort.

I also found that having boundaries on my social time was valuable. In my time back in the digital social sphere, I have found that I am still bad at respecting those boundaries. There is a balance between being connected and being over-connected.

I’ll be honest, I’m not great at finding a balance in things. When I’m in something, I’m all in—not always a bad thing, but I was seeing some bad consequences connected to my social media usage.

Coming back to this, I having to learn how to balance. Taking yourself out of the equation completely—not exactly balanced.

As a culture, we’re terrible at maintaining boundaries and I am just a product of the culture. Being in constant connection with each other doesn’t really lends itself to boundaries easily and I’m wading into that tension.

As a people-appreciating introvert, I know that I need space to recharge, but I can easily ignore that need. Maneuvering the culture shock of social media, I’m seeing the importance of respecting my own boundaries and limits.

So yes, the temptation to run away again is definitely there. But along side it is a desire to find balance. I know I can write and recharge and build a platform. It’s a balancing act and in it, I’m discovering the multiple meanings of grace.

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