I know too many people.
Literally, I know thousands of people. And not deep and personally either. Just by name, with maybe a few facts on their personal lives.
This happened over time. I’ve lived in the same town my whole life. Only moved away for four years for college. And of course, I joined a sorority in college, where I instantly gained hundreds more people into my life.
People are great. I love knowing so many people – I wish I knew all of their stories. I often will have a brief talk with someone and they will be SO KIND to me, and I walk away wishing I knew more about them. For instance, at church on Sunday, we were heading out to the car and I saw a woman who has always been so sweet and kind to me. She stopped and wanted to see the baby. She admired him and then looked me right in the eyes and said “you are so blessed.” I could see something so incredibly genuine in her eyes. And even a little sad. She had a story. I wanted to ask her. I wanted to know. In that moment, nothing else mattered. But alas, the baby was hungry. We had to leave. And as we walked to the car, I said to Grant, “I know too many people.” And I wish I knew more about them.
But I can’t. I can’t. Or can I? Ahh, this is my struggle.
Already three months into the new year, and I’m convicted of my own resolution. I wanted a simpler life.
Have you noticed that when people take a social media break, they come back LIVING. Like people LIVE for breaks from social media. They LOVE the break. Not enough to completely delete their accounts, but enough to remember the freedom. And I think there are three reasons why:
- NUMBER ONE: During the break, you only interact with people you know on an intimate level. You’re texting, calling, writing, hanging out with only your close people. Why? Because they know you deeply and you know them deeply and we crave to be KNOWN. Not just admired or liked — we want to be known.
- NUMBER TWO: During the break, the comparisons are GONE. The pressure to keep up is GONE. You get to relax; not take a picture for the soul purpose of posting; you aren’t keeping up with everyone and anyone. You get to look in the mirror, pick your outfit that maybe three strangers at target will see that day, and you choose everything in your day based on what is best for YOU and your family.
- NUMBER THREE: During the break, it’s quiet. It’s calm. The anxiety is low. You look around your house and do something else. You put your phone down. You walk outside, you have conversations, you ask questions. You are free.
So, back to knowing too many people. I think we were meant to go through elementary school, middle school, high school and then off to work or college — and wave farewell to those beautiful people with whom we once shared math class. We weren’t meant to continue a pseudo relationship with them. Sure, I think it’s really cool to be able to see what people are up to – what they’ve achieved – how cute their kids are – mourn with them when they encounter loss. Knowing these people from our past is actually REALLY cool because we shared everyday with them for years – even if we weren’t super close.
However, now we are adults. Working adults, most of us. And we have a whole ‘nother group of people in our lives. Coworkers. And for most of us, if we want to thrive at work, well, we better build relationships with our coworkers. Another group of people we spend nearly everyday with – even if we aren’t super close.
And through the years, between school, sports, church, work, neighborhoods, military etc., we develop deep relationships with people. It’s most likely a SMALL number. If you had AMAZING news you wanted to share right now (like maybe you’re pregnant!!), chances are you have one or two people in mind you would call. EVENTUALLY, yes, you share it with the social media world. But that’s just to share the joy. That’s not informative – that’s just plain posting for joy. We don’t look to that as our only source of community. Well, some might actually. And that’s ok!
So back to knowing too many people. I want to be better friend. That’s really important to me this year. And I’m realizing I can’t be vulnerable with a few, if I’m being wide open with many. Does that make sense? I have always struggled with this area of my life and I really want to work on getting healthier in it. So when I decide to give a larger group of people a look into my life, that lessens the chances of me being vulnerable with just one person or a couple close people. It’s way easier to go the ‘big group’ route.
So what does this all mean for me? Quiet my social media. If I don’t know someone personally, I will unfollow them. THIS DOESN’T MEAN I DON’T LIKE THEM. I so wish we could all accept that if someone doesn’t choose to follow you, it doesn’t mean they don’t like you. It just means they are choosing to focus on people they are closer with, or maybe what you post doesn’t bring them joy, or it doesn’t meet the criteria they have for their social media feed – AND THAT’S OK. promise.
I want all the people I follow to be people I have the energy to interact with – both face to face and on social media. Have I mentioned I have LOW energy? I literally can’t keep up. So my goal is that when I scroll, I’m not exhausted by the end of it because I’ve glanced at a bunch of strangers and their lives. Because it’s not just glancing – it’s comparing (see above #2!!)
My goal this week is to pare down my accounts. And I encourage you to do the same. HECK, maybe the stuff I post doesn’t bring you joy. UNFOLLOW ME. This rule applies to anyone and everyone and it doesn’t mean you hate someone. (I’m telling myself this over and over again because I need to remember it. It’s HARD – I need constant reminding).
Does this stir something inside you? Have you been wanting to simplify your social media? Well tap on over to the gram NOW and start unfollowing. Go to bed feeling just a little more FREE. Praying for peace during this process!