I’ve been taking a break from social media for the last few days. I won’t lie and say that I didn’t expect it to be difficult. I did. I live and breathe social media, especially my political circles. Funny thing, though… it HASN’T been difficult. It took me until this morning to figure out why I haven’t really missed being on Twitter and Facebook that much.
Before I get to my epiphany, I want to explain why I finally (abruptly) decided to take a break from social media. part of the reason is this:
And that is pretty much consecutively. There hasn’t been a 48 hour stretch since the day that I joined Twitter ( as @GaltsGirl) that I have not tweeted… about politics. My tweet count will more than bear out that statement as fact.
Another reason, and one that has weighed on my mind for awhile, was that I was losing a sense of accomplishment. I continue to grow my follower count. I continue to engage people from across the political spectrum. I continue to get positive feedback about the way I choose to engage.
You see, I am generally a “happy warrior.” (Yes, that is a h/t to Andrew Breitbart) But, despite all of those things, I am seeing a replay of post-primary 2012 sentiment on social media.. and it is getting worse. It is very frustrating to concretely define your reason for being on social media as being one of bringing people to the same table, only to see them all stand at the outer edge and never take a seat and TALK. Or worse, to see those who have a seat, never stop talking long enough to listen to anyone new. Twitter has become ( at least in #tcot and #tlot circles) the high school cafeteria, and very few want to move over and grant someone new a seat at the “cool table”.
I took the week off to decide if I needed to approach my presence differently… or if I should bother to continue at all. I have been more and more tempted to just shut down my twitter and political Facebook account and go back to participating in politics locally only. It would be much easier on me, and far less time consuming, than trying to be active locally and inspire others to do the same online. It REALLY, REALLY would, and I was very much leaning in that direction.
This morning I had three conversations and stumbled onto something my ten year old daughter drew that changed my mind. The first two of the conversations were praise for my BTR show from people I have never talked to on Twitter and had never interacted with on Facebook. One was a guy who joined Facebook last Sunday after being told to listen to my show by a friend. The other was a guy who had been fighting his family and friends on Facebook over is political beliefs and felt like he was alienating them because he didn’t know how to communicate his thoughts in a way that wasn’t offensive to them. He credited listening to my show as inspiration to keep trying to convince them. The third conversation was with a long-time friend, and it wasn’t nearly as flattering. I was reminded of something I said to him in 2009 when he was flabbergasted by the local support he heard for Obamacare: I told him to quit complaining, get educated, get off the couch and DO SOMETHING. I can be blunt when the situation calls for it. Apparently, he has learned well.
Finally, while walking outside this morning, and trying to finally make a decision, I ran across a chalk drawing my daughter did:
I should probably explain that, in her view while drawing, was a Gadsen Flag. And I grinned. Huge.
I have asked myself if I am doing anything good. I have asked myself if anyone is listening ( No one listens to the libertarian chick™ is a common tweet of mine). Both of those questions were answered, to my satisfaction, by the conversations I had this morning.
I have asked if I am even qualified to be spreading my political opinion all over the place. What I probably should have been asking was “Why not?”
Self-doubt plagues us all. Activist fatigue is unavoidable. It *is* okay to take breaks… and it’s good to know that others are just as passionate as I am, when I need one.
I’ll be back. In a few more days. “Why Not?” has become “What Now?“.