When did Social Media replace Communication?

No really, it’s a serious question. I remember my first intro into Social Media, when MySpace was the thing. I remember the top ten friends and hurt feelings for such simple nonessential bullshit, really, that’s what it is, and why is this the “new normal”.

I’ve always been a REAL person. I’ve always said what I think and never hidden behind my feelings. Now, we have a whole generation of “cowards behind the keyboard” and then some. People spouting off their “real feelings” on Facebook and Twitter like they are winning some kind of cyber victory. It is painful to see.

While I’ve tried to keep most things positive on any Social Media account, I do have the occasional rant. Just like this blog, some of my posts are darker than others. I clearly have my own opinion on most things, and often I feel strongly one way or another…I lack seriously in the grey area. Real recently I’ve noticed myself getting bitter when scrolling through notifications or my news feed. I saw so much hate, and so many strong opinons…all the while I’m over here like “come do crossfit with me and be awesome…” or “here’s the thousandth photo of my dog…I don’t have kids, but here’s Elvis…again”…THEN found that I was being post shamed by people for my “totally obnoxious amounts of enthusiasm and dog mom photos”….inside that made me say (and sorry for the language) FUCK RIGHT OFF! Whether it’s a big joke or you sincerely have an issue with my positive-glass-half-full lifestyle….I don’t care. It makes me bitter on the inside to see your sour words every day.

That being said, I took a break. I took a soul searching, self-help break, and it has been BEAUTIFUL. I was torn for a long time and found myself using my business as my crutch to stay in the Social Media lifestyle. When I finally sat down and thought about it, here’s what I concluded, and it is so shameful for me to admit…but I’m saying it:

I am an addict. I’m addicted to seeing what other people think and feel and want. I’m addicted to seeing their drama unfold and the shitstorm of a life some people live. I’m addicted to this social craze that everyone has found themselves in because I am and always have been a social butterfly. So, Social Media is literally life’s water to my brain. But the more bitter I became the more I realized I don’t actually care about half of the things I was reading every day. I looked on my phone to realize I was spending ELEVEN hours a week on my Facebook App…..WHAT?! I’m a 35 year old grown ass adult, what am I doing looking at my phone that long at all?? Why am I reading all this nonsense day in and day out just to raise my blood pressure? To remind myself how “normal” my life is…? I get that reminder every day without Social Media.

I had to dig really deep to deactivate my account and take a break. I had to talk myself out of some big announcement, and I knew it was coming. There was one straw that broke the camel’s back and, BAM, done. I didn’t even think twice. And truthfully, nearly 3 weeks into it, the break has been nice. I’ve got so much time to read books, listen to more podcasts, and genuinely put thought and care into things and people I REALLY truly care about.

I knew on this little journey of mine I wanted to sort some things out in my head. Without the cloud of other people’s business causing the brain block into MY WORLD, this was the best time to accomplish those goals.

With that, I leave you with this. One of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make in a long time, and I’m still unsure about it. I am no longer booking photos of humans. There is no easy way to say that. It still breaks my heart. I’ve had such a battle with the idea for the last couple weeks, it’s become exhausting. I have such an incredible relationship with some of my clients, it’s hard to fathom no longer seeing them, or watching their families grow through photos taken by someone other than me. That is the selfish piece…I love being the person chosen to take photos, and I love when people are pleased and happy and boasting about my work. But there’s much I’ve grown out of love with….people pleasing…and other people not respecting my schedule and life or the fact that I have other clients and a full time job on top of the 30 hours I spend on photos a week. I have spent the last several years working my tushie off for everyone but myself. Now it’s time to do me. I started coaching Crossfit and I worried I would fall out of love with it if too much of my life revolved around it, and it did just the opposite…I love it more. I love the positivity at the gym and all of the friends and family there that bring the best out in me and everyone surrounding me…this is a feeling I strive for. I used to have this euphoria with photos and that light is almost completely burned out. I’m ready for change. Last year I tried to cut back and do less weddings and not book new clients, but realized, like most things in my life…it needs to be all or nothing. Sure, there will be exceptions – but ONLY on my accord. I’m still getting used to saying “no” and the idea in general. It will take time. I will still go on hikes and other adventures and take ridiculous amounts of photos of my dog. I will still sell my prints (which isn’t nearly as lucrative, but I love seeing my art in people’s homes!) and will also periodically do fun projects…..that Dudeoir calendar will happen one day. I hope, if you are reading this, you understand why I made this choice. If you don’t, then you likely don’t know me at all.

To my clients – I’m sorry, truly I am. It breaks my heart in pieces. Thank you for letting me capture your lives up to this point, it is my greatest honor. I hope you know how sincere I am when I say that.

On to the next adventure. This is my only life….and I plan to live it like the rockstar I am!

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