Turning a New Leaf

Here I am, curled up in the corner alone, having entered the new year. When I looked around me in church after praying and dancing in worship, people were hugging each other, shouting “congratulations!”. There seemed to be a collective persuasion that 2019 was going to be a good year.

The weeks leading into this year were filled with inspirational dissatisfaction. I do not remember what prayer I prayed for Him to do as He has done.

November 5.

That was the day I deleted my social media accounts. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Gone. He, very likely, reached into my heart and rewired something.

I became disillusioned, out of the blue, with social media. I had grown tired of the brand of activism that did not translate to tangible change. I was tired of people maintaining one persona online and another in real life.

I was tired of how politics of a certain kind was finding its way into sports, entertainment, business, and education. I was tired of the fact that at a time when the talk of tolerance was loudest, there was unbelievable hostility to opposing views that resembled traditional ideas.

I was tired of scrolling endlessly. Newsfeeds were bottomless, and the refresh button aggravated the problem. I was tired of commenting and connecting with strangers while neglecting my own people by whom I was surrounded.

I was tired of thinking that because I saw a witty caption and a crisp photo, I knew how my friends were doing. I was tired of wasting my time by my own hand. I was tired of the faux outrage and outrage on-demand I found on those platforms.

Truthfully, I was embarrassed by the person I had become. I had now become a person who would run to social media to announce that I won an award or that I liked how the sun shone today.

I was ashamed that a criterion for who I followed or followed back was the aesthetic appeal of a photograph born out of filters. I was ashamed that my attention span was shrinking and that talking to my family on the phone involved scrolling through Instagram simultaneously.

I was ashamed of the expectation I placed on an image I edited to perfection, and of my disappointment when it did not perform well. I was tired of glamour without substance.

All of these factors culminated in the decision to delete my accounts. And my thoughts have never been more lucid.

I am able to connect more deeply and intentionally with my family, my friends, myself, and my Father. I have remembered my first loves of books and music.

The thing about a bubble is that no one realises it is a bubble until it bursts.

So, if you did not post on social media for one day or one year, who would notice and ask after you?

Cheers to the new year and to turning a new leaf.

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