Sunday, March 27, 2016

Back to the Basics

The other day I decided it was time for me to take a break from social media.  Trouble is, that's where I tend to get my news, keep up to date with family and friends, and discover some of the most amazing recipes.  Unfortunately it's also where vile accusations of racism, sexism, homophobia, and all the other isms and phobias get thrown around as often as hashtags.  It's also where lines are drawn in the political sand and people turn into cave trolls when it comes to defending/supporting/their favorite political candidate.

Over the last few weeks and months it's begun to feel like wading around in the sewer, just being on social media and frankly, when you wade around in such filth, it's hard not to come out stinking.  I noticed how easy it was to get drawn in, fire back comments, and not really care how I was coming across.  Yeah, not something I really want to be a part of.

I made the decision to unfollow/unfriend certain folks thinking that would help, but it really didn't.  It seems no matter who you unfollow or unfriend, someone else is still more than willing to wade around in the filth with them and quote them, re-tweet them, etc., and you still see it all even if you don't want to.  So, it was time for me to step away for a while and ask myself a few questions. Such as; what am I even doing online in social settings?  What impression do I want to give? What do I want to contribute to a conversation? How do I want people to feel after having an encounter with me? Most important of all: is God glorified in what I'm saying?

These were not easy questions for me to answer honestly, so I came back here to this blog.  It's been almost twelve years since I started writing here and once upon a time I had hundreds of readers each day.  I know that's not a lot in the grand scheme of things but it was what it was and I enjoyed that.  The respectful conversations, where folks had more than 140 characters to share what's on their mind whether they agreed or disagreed with what I was saying.  And I had more than 140 characters to respond.

But times have changed.  Online interaction has changed. People's attention spans have been choked off and it seems unless you're dishing on the hottest scandal of the hour, most folks don't give a rip about what you have to say. And I'm okay with that, because that's not where I want to be anyway.

Of course I'm opinionated about, well... pretty much everything.  But at the end of the day I want to know folks have walked away after an encounter with me encouraged, challenged, edified, smiling, laughing or at the very least with a great new recipe to try.  In short, I want to be part of the solution, not part of the ongoing arguments or worse, the problem.

I have a HUGE list of things I'd like to write about but I honestly don't know if I'll be back to blogging every day, once a week or just how often.  You can leave your thoughts in the comments below, if you like.