I realized today that I seem to have gone on a temporary, if not intentional, social media break. I used to fire up the Twitter pretty often, checking in on my virtual friends, posting my latest TV and movie thoughts (Shaq and Cee-Lo should remake Twins!), and saying hello to those readers posting about MWF Seeking BFF.
And then last week I realized I hadn’t checked in on Twitville in a while. The same was true of Facebook. It seemed I was forgetting to post my usual stuff: book news, blog posts, birthday messages. Around the same time, my social calendar had really picked up. For whatever reason, I had a number of new friend dates, old friend catch-ups, and that in-between thing where you try to turn a new friend into an old one.
What I’ve been thinking about (and this is a “duh,” I know) is that there’s only so much time. Even I, who touts the importance of friendship at every turn, also have a career, a marriage and a family to attend to. And now that there seem to be one thousand different ways of socializing–in person! online! via text! via Scramble!–to keep up with, it can all seem to much.
My official ruling is this: Make in-person mandatory, the rest can come and go.
I’m not promoting a social media boycott, or cleanse, or protest. I’m simply saying that when I moved to Chicago and had few local, face-to-face friends and lots of online ones, I was still lonely. But over the last month, while I’ve had tons of friendship face-time and not a lot of online interaction, I’ve been totally socially fulfilled. I haven’t missed social media. I hardly even noticed it was gone.
Online socializing is fun and effective. I’ve connected with new pals I wouldn’t have known otherwise. But it’s extra. The face-to-face is where it’s at.
I’m going to get myself back in the throes of Twitter and Facebook asap. It’s not going anywhere. But I’ve made my choice: In the battle of man versus machine, I choose man.
What about you?