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I Had Fear Of Missing Out Until I Changed My Mind ---




In college, I pretty much lived online. I mean, I very, very much lived with and surrounded by friends--- but I also lived on my phone via (slow method) texting--- or maybe--- it's quite possible the droid with the keypad was out by then? (I'm old, sorry guys). You know, I've heard how phones are like extra limbs now--- and I truly believe it and see it. For me, I guess it's an extra limb, because it's like the lightweight camera that fits in my back pocket-- but I could lose the internet and cellular capabilities and only feel lost for a few hours or so until I adjusted to the change. Facebook was brand new--- like, braaaaaand new in my college online years. My school was one of the first schools to be part of the new Facebook. And instant messenger? Remember that? I was on it. I had a blog then--- and probably wrote in that almost daily too. For me, it was very much entertainment, connection, but really and truly--- a fear of missing out. I didn't want to go to bed early, or wake up too late-- because I wanted to be up doing whatever it is my friends were doing. It felt like my world would just suck or collapse if I went to bed early and something ridiculous, or fun, or ridiculously fun happened and I missed it because I made the mistake to choose sleep. This was of course ten years ago now.
When I look around now--- it still feels like that is very much real, and more a part of many peoples worlds--- depending on where you look of course. I still have a big, steady group of friends who honestly, probably don't read my blog, have never signed up for twitter, and maybe visit instagram a few times a month---- if they have instagram at all. While I don't think I would ever enjoy to step that far away from online interconnection--- I do think, that those friend's day to day, though much different than mine, seems very nice. I've mentioned it before--- somewhere-- if not here, than instagram, but I became heavily dependent on my phone-- dare I say addicted to my phone in the days of breast-feeding. Hours alone with a silent baby, and not much else around me, I sat on Facebook and twitter to connect with something outside my living room and bedroom. Then instagram came and I got sucked in even more. It was another thing to look at--- to scroll through---- to connect to-- and quickly, beyond boredom, social media became a priority. And it was like I was back in my college days, fearing the fear--- I was scared that I was missing out. I made sure to spend as much time scrolling back as far as I could to see everything I could see. If I stepped away from my phone too long--- what would happen? Would I miss conversations? Or pictures? Or what? Really, what I guess I would miss would just be a routine that I had grown accustomed to. 
Admittedly, my family does rely on the internet and the world around it for some of our income, but even if we didn't, I wouldn't turn it off. The photo taking, the documenting, and even the occasional spit out of thoughts and ideas is something I truly enjoy and have done for myself long before the internet blew up to what it is today and long before I knew I could make a penny from it. I've made some truly remarkable relationships through this space--- with people who are now part of my everyday life-- people I would be sad not to know. And I've made connections with wonderful readers  that I wouldn't have without this space. I've said a million times and I'll say it a million more, but I'm thankful to the people who are part of my life (silent and not) through blog. I wouldn't change it for the world. But what I have learned in the past few months--- and maybe years--- is that it is okay to step away and not fear missing out. I still check in on a handful of blogs every (or every other) day--- and I use instagram almost daily, while I'll only really scroll through instagram at least every couple days.  I answer emails as often as I possibly can (I never skip those) and I do try to text friends and family back when I get a free minute--- usually at the end of the day, but I've learned that I'm not necessarily missing out if I miss something for an hour or a few days---- that I can follow back up shortly after and that my world won't crumble if I don't know why everyone is doing, or wearing, or eating. My parents grew up without a cell phone and I spent my first 16 years of my life without a cell phone and I never, for a second felt as if I was missing out. Relationships do take work, they're two sided, and I know the world is changing and I can't stop it, but relationships go far deeper than buttons on a text pad-- they pick up or slow down because we're all having pretty awesome and busy lives--- and I am too. I document, I share and sometimes if I'm lucky I strike gold on a connection and relationship. The internet is great, but I don't fear missing out--- we're all so lucky to have a life off of it too.
The past few weeks has left me with a lot of thoughts--- of what I love most about the internet and what I love most about my life. I had the ridiculously amazing pleasure of having a long time internet friend fly out and visit me. It reinforced the amazing feelings I have of this space. With Kathleen, we may not talk everyday and sometimes we go weeks without chatting, but a friendship has been easy. I live it everyday with so many far away friends, but her coming here has shown me how powerful relationships can be from a distance--- even without actually meeting. And when you both do the same dead lizard expression at the same time--- sometimes you know, the internet can be magic. I'm lucky to have faraway friends like this--- and everyday friends I've also met through this space. It's one of the reasons that I do stay and don't ever want to give up technology. The following week, with me stuck in bed with really, basically nothing to do but sit on my phone has shown me how much I've changed throughout the years. To sit and do nothing but stare at my phone and the internet all day has proven to be self-torture, even with the time to "talk" (type).  I do not fear missing out like I once did--- I fear not doing enough. With the exception of last week, I think I can say I've finally found a healthy balance with this space and with that ghost limb we all carry around. I still make connections, make friends with readers, admire and read many other blogs/bloggers, but my happiness truly exists in the life I'm out doing away from a screen---- while the connections I make in-between are a very lucky bonus. I'm truly fortunate to have both.

ps. this is one of the few almost normal photos we have together:

we learned: we're not good at taking photos together.

I learned:
-the only time I really have bagels in my house is when I have guests. I then basically make them live off bagels because I'm so excited to have them.
-alex will always be a better host than me (but I knew that, this just re-confirmed that).
-I finally have a friend who is shorter than me!
-yes, from time to time, I will meet online people who turn out to be truly crappy or fake people, but it's worth it to keep meeting people, some are real gems. I have a lot of gems.
-kathleen and I are soul sisters.


I hope everyone had an amazing weekend. My face is starting to feel better, a chill air came, alex has tomorrow off too, and we spent a lot of time outdoors and with friends. It was great. Happy  November and new week, friends. Thank you again for being here-- not sure how I got so lucky with this one <3

17 comments:

  1. oh girl! I just loved this post so much. I know that fear all to well and it has only taken growing older (and hopefully wiser) to realize that I don't have to live in that fear anymore. Life outside of the internet is such a sweet place. I totally agree that it is all a balance though because I am too so thankful for the lovely friendships I have made over the years on here. Like you!! So thankful for you and your blog.

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    1. and w'ere def. in the same age range where we got all the new internet updates at the same time :) Though I never signed up for friendster--- I was the anti-hip. Way too cool for that ;) Thank for you! Let's meet IRL soon!

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  2. This is really sweet- There is always more you could have read or documented or communicated but that path can be so stressful- it's such a balance!

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  3. Really enjoyed reading this. My career very much revolves around the letter 'i' - iPad, iPhone, iMac... ironic as I am not a selfish person at all.

    When Facebook was in vogue, it was all a numbers game. I recently reviewed my friend list and was shocked that an unhealthy number of individuals were complete strangers. I do recall juvenile conversations about how many 'friends' one had - as if that confirmed one's popularity. After much procrastination, I am slowly filtering my way through the headcount.

    Truth is, the time I spend on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook is a necessary work evil. The social time I invest online is escapism from real life, although I have always felt that there should be a disclaimer stating 'beware of venturing too deep.' There should also be one saying 'post/tweet/share responsibly.'

    My cousin has remained Facebook free and I always wondered how she managed to get through the day. I was surprised to recently discover that despite having seven years on her and an enviable PR, she is as connected as I am.

    I remember the days when we used to rely on emails and MSN Messenger (if we were lucky). The excitement of receiving an inbox message or seeing a REAL friend online was second to none. My life is now saturated with data and internet gobbledygook, which I am beginning to hack away at. Gradually.

    Like you, I have formed the most incredible friendships over the internet, strengthened newly established bonds and solidified and maintained friendships with my older buddies. I enjoy wishing people happy birthday (thank you Facebook), seeing wedding photos, new born babies and the like but I also enjoy liberation from news feeds and selfies.

    You may have already seen this video. It is doing the rounds online which is an irony in itself. Anyway, just wanted to share... Happy viewing!

    http://themetapicture.com/if-this-video-doesnt-convince-you/

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    1. I probably shouldn't admit this online--- but a few years ago I went through my Facebook account and realized how many people I had *friended* after drunk party nights in college haha. People who I would never see or talk to again! I went through and deleted a good 200 or so. And this past year deleted my entire Facebook account all together. I decided that if people needed me, they could call. I now, this month have a new number for the first time in years so I sort of regret it--- but not really ;)

      I actually haven't watched the video before! It's shares good points :) -girl sitting in darkish room on internet. srly. ;)

      Internet is good and bad and sometimes I'm hesitant to step away-- but grateful at the same time feeling like I escaped. I don't know where my head would be right now if I was a teen in the social media "follower climbing" game. <3<3

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  4. I know that fear too well but I know if I let myself stress over what I'm missing, I tend to miss out on the now anyway! Love this post.

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    1. Don't stress! Breathe in and look up! :) And thank you!

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  5. What a lovely post Drea. We all get wiser as time moves on I think. I'm glad you're feeling a bit better this week. CJ xx

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  6. I really love this post and I can really relate to everything you've described! When I was younger I definitely spent too much time on the internet and felt the need to keep up with everything that was going on. Now I spend my internet time much more wisely but I really enjoy meeting like minded people online and having a little space of the internet to post photos and ramble if I want to! I really like your perspective on things, what a lovely post xoxo

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  7. I really related to this post, especially the breastfeeding aspects. I too became sucked in to social media when i started breastfeeding, as at times, i felt incredibly lonely and it was my only portal to the outside world. I have been judged by friends for it, but, until you have been in the situation, you will never understand. I appreciate all of my "mommy" groups on Facebook, no matter how crazy things can get on them, simply because it kept me connected. I feel like i could have gone into a bit of a depression had i not had that option. Mostly my faith kept me sane, but, keeping connected to others is what we are wired to do, neurologically, no matter what avenue is obtainable at the time.

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    1. It's true. It saved my sanity while breast-feeding. I'm glad I had the support (even if people didn't know or realize they were supporting me) then and I'm glad to not need to rely on the support now <3

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  8. For as long as I can remember there has always been something though, whether it it's Instagram now, it used to be MySpace and then Messenger and it was all the rage to make your screen name as crazy as possible using all of the characters from Windings. I think it comes to a point where you accept what you do, and invite the world to join if they want but to not be as bothered if they choose not too. Technology is great, when like anything it's handle in the right proportions with real life!

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  9. Well said! I hate my desk job, so my phone os deck items an escape, but then again if I want to procrastinate I feel that there is something so much more fulfilling and creative I could spend my time on (writing, reading, etc). As someone who hates confrontation, I love how easy and non-committal texting is. It's definitely helped me stay in touch with people who would have otherwise faded from my life.

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  10. Such a great post and oh so relatable! I've been reading blogs basically since they were invented, but I only really fell into the social media trap whilst breastfeeding as well. What else are you supposed to do when your baby takes marathon naps while still attached to your boob (reading a book probably would have been a better answer! ). lately I've been feeling so addicted that I feel like I'm constantly on my phone, it has become this automatic thing that I don't even realise I'm doing. I already deleted almost my entire friends list from facebook recentlt and deleted the app... but that still leaves me entangled in Instagram! I'm very tempted to go cold turkey for a while and remove the Internet from my phone altogether. Aghh I hate feeling like I'm not in control of something (maybe it's a virgo thing). Anyway awesome that you've found your soul sister online! I guess it really is great for connecting like minded people. x

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  11. Just read this post. I feel the same lately.

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