This may come as a shock to many of you, but I’ve recently decided to engage in a social media fast.
For me, it is to give myself the proper time and space to more deeply reflect and reevaluate my role in engaging in more meaningful, strategic social justice.
Because that’s what I’m purporting I’m doing here, yes? Even though in reality I’ve been so busy that I have little time to even update this site?
Imma be completely honest. The last ten days have been pretty tough. I didn’t have a solid day of sleep in most of that span. I’ve been having really thoughtful, difficult conversations with folks as to whether my rhetoric as a feminist, activist, and passionate liberal has been too strong, too divisive, too imposing, too closed-minded.
I also realized that with emotions running so high right now among my colleagues and friends I’ve been opening social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter and closing it feeling more overwhelmed and anxious than ever. And it wasn’t until much more recently that I realized that I’ve been subjecting myself to this online echo chamber I’ve solely created looking for answers and inspiration…when perhaps it was such a passive information gathering tactic that it left me feeling even worse with very little outside perspective.
So here’s what I’ve uncovered in the past 10 days.
That there are more stories that are in need of telling. That perhaps there is a bigger, broader view to unpack. That as I tell my students all the damn time, there is a history and a context to everything; nothing truly exists in a vacuum. That my lived experience may not necessarily be the same as yours, and that’s ok.
And that a break from social media is needed for me to ponder that.
The past week has been good to me in this regard. I have consciously stayed away from SM and engaged with people IRL, for example, at #NCA16. I talked to community organizations and academics about activism and social justice, about self care and healing. I came home from the conference and had brunch with a group of close girlfriends, where we shared our current life updates, our fears, and our dreams, and have been checking in on each other ever since. I have been writing spoken word that digs deep into my feelings in an attempt to make meaning of everything that is swirling inside of me. I have also been having some tough conversations with my husband that leave me raw and vulnerable, but toward more understanding that I hope will help strengthen our marriage and partnership.
ALL THAT, for me, has been cathartic and transformative. Although this is hard for me to say (especially given my personal and professional interests in social media) I have to admit that sharing a provocative article on Facebook (that all my FB friends had probably read already anyway) did not have that same effect.
So I’ve turned off the notifications on my phone. I’m going to be spending more time reading, writing, thinking, engaging. I’m going to reach out to folks directly to ask them how they are doing. I’m going to more actively listen, because I WANT TO LISTEN, and I think I need to. We all do. I’m going to work on building this site to more fully embody my voice and my craft. So get ready, folks.
I’ll catch y’all on the flip side. ✌🏽