First of all, a huge disclaimer… I’m writing to myself just as much as I am to you here. I’m an active social media user (especially Instagram — ugh). I post photos of my kid more than I should as well as other random stuff that serves no point other than to get others to ‘look at me’. I’m well aware. Okay, let’s get into it here…
We live in a culture where we can instantaneously express ourselves. Share a photo. Book a face. Twitter a tweet. Snap a chat.
It’s so gratifying to the ego to project its ideal to everyone it can. To put it out there and see how much juicy social approval we can gain.
That being said, I challenge you (and myself) to try something…
The next time you want to take that photograph of your kid or that selfie of you and your honey on a boat and share it on social, stop. Hang on to that thing. Keep it private.
Then, notice the inner rumblings of the ego wanting that sweet hit of immediate social approval. Can you feel it grinding? Yeah…
That’s no good, friends. No good at all. It’s called addiction. Straight up.
This is where prudence comes in — a quality a lot of us modern westerners have lost touch with. Exercising this kind of restraint is really hard when the share button is just a few touches away.
However, I’ve found, the more of your life you hold sacred to yourself, the more you build up a sort of internal (spiritual?) bank account.
Think of that ‘share’ button as an inner-bank withdrawal that takes a little bit of your life away from you and spends it in the social sphere. And think of the moments you keep to yourself as savings.
I’m not fully against social media (though, as I get older, I’m becoming more and more so). I love being able to keep up with family and friends from across the planet and follow my favorite authors, creatives, etc.
But I’d argue that there are so many sacred moments that get ruined just for the sake of portraying an ego ideal to the world. As we spend the moments of our lives on the social marketplace like good little American consumers (because yes, we are the products on the shelf of social media and our attention is the currency), we lose something.
I’d say, the more epic the moment, the more money it’s like putting in that inner-bank account. The more you yearn to share it, the more it’ll be worth to your humanity if you keep it to yourself.
I don’t know about you, but I spent way too much of my inner-bank savings these last couple weeks.
Restraint and prudence are how we start reclaiming our lives from this social world we’ve found ourselves in.