How many of us, upon opening our eyes in the morning, scroll through our Instagram, our Facebook, our Twitter, and begin dumping in everyone else's stuff? Rushing into the hustle and bustle, the content overload, the meaningless mess of mass messages. Filling up all the open space we are gifted each morning after a night's sleep. We've become addicted to consuming.
What does it mean to be an addict? When we are addicted to something, we become dependent on a particular feeling. It isn't the drug, the drink, the piece of cake or the video game that we are addicted to, it is the way these things make us feel when consumed. We crave that feeling and we know that posting a flattering selfie, having a few glasses of wine or browsing Pinterest perfect houses, will create that for us. And just like that, we are hooked.
When we are distracted or entertained, we don't have to "deal with" the more painful stuff happening within ourselves. We disguise our sufferings by attracting more 'likes' and neglect the deeper parts within that need tending to. We run from stillness because we are terrified of what might spill out onto the surface. Because that stuff isn't sexy, isn't like-able, isn't what everyone else is sharing, so why would I?
I'm tired. I'm so tired of the bullshit surface talk I hear people have with each other that has been conditioned and accepted from all this consuming. Shaming others for how they dress, who they love, the life they live. Expecting that it should come in a one-size-fits-all package. The reality is that that mold only fits one person well and the rest of us are trying to make it work. Trying to squeeze into perfection. Into smaller jeans. Into a world that media and celebrities show us is so glamorous, all of the time.
I'm exhausted from mindless consuming and how heavy it makes me feel and rather than close my eyes and hope it all goes away, I have to make a change. Not January 1st, a future tense that robs me of my personal power and usually never comes, but today. I decided a December drop-off from social media was necessary to regain energy and clarity. Day three has felt lackluster at times and there is definitely a lot more time and space for my internal workings to cycle through. I'm inviting the initial discomfort and imagine that later this month I will be feeling more rejuvenated.
The internet isn't going away and it will continue to thrive on our consumption. Our dependency to the internet, it's updates and it's improvements, infiltrates and infuses every part of our lives. We have all been with a friend who couldn't look up from their phone screen and wondered why we were even there. Or seen a family out to dinner who all had their phones, iPad's or music players on the table, demanding their attention.
I'm stepping back for perspective because I am aware that our consumer culture is not going to disappear. That media messages will continue to manipulate us all to believe we are never enough. I have to prepare myself to live and thrive in a world based on sales and accumulating more stuff because if I don't, who will? Who else will tell me I'm worth it? That I don't need that wardrobe, that many likes, that kind of body? This life is way too valuable to wait around for some other time, some other person, some other way. The time is now and I plan on showing up for the occasion.