Cut the Cord

Over the dark and damp days of winter I felt the elastic tighten. The gloom came with the November storm clouds and by January an escape was needed, so we booked a week of brighter skies for February. Usually I keep my daily lines of communication open, but this time I gave in. I think my subconscious decided to temporarily sever the umbilical cord that ties us to our social media accounts before I did. The simple fact was that I needed a break from my own timeline. Waving, but drowning a little.

We easily and foolishly overlook the fact that it is just that - ‘social’ media. And if we are honest we don’t all feel sociable all of the time. I consider myself a ‘glass half full’ realist, but even so this winter got me down. All that grey. All that wet. It’s been hard to keep up the good cheer when at times I felt more like crawling away and hiding. There’s a sense of things needing to be done that isn’t always compatible with the ever tightening spiral of electronic communication. If you don’t play the game, the algorithms are stacked against you; fail to feed and you might as well drop off the edge of the earth, such is your invisibility. This time, I just didn’t feel like playing.

And once I was away, I rediscovered my freedom. I told myself that there will be time to be social when I return – I will still be here, even if you don’t see me. I may actually be getting some work done, or even being creative. I’d prefer that my images and writing communicate, rather than attenuated lines miserly shared by the Trojan horse that we welcomed in. And the result of this? For the first time since I joined the social media circus it felt like a proper holiday. Social, and sociable, in the real sense. People even crept into my images.

C plus H

I got in touch with my inner child - I played with the camera, I walked barefoot on the wet sand, I even rode the little train back from the beach.

M plus C

I returned to find that if you don’t post, facebook nags you repeatedly. Did they miss me? I notice just a little more volume to the me-me chorus that social media can engender. So I think for a while I will once again try to resist the feeling that ‘I ought to’, and when I do engage or post, hopefully it will be more meaningful. Real friendship accepts that in life, stuff happens. Absences don’t nag. And conversations pick up where they left off, sometimes years ago.

J from C

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