If you are reading this, there is a strong probability you have thought about the impact of social media upon your life. You might have even entertained thoughts of leaving it all, deleting accounts and doing something different with your time.
I have entertained these thoughts for about a year and a half now, and the thoughts turned into research and nudgings from my heart added into the mix, and then a book came into my iBooks, and just like that, I made a hard and firm decision. I picked dates, and with love, I started to plan my exit.
The overriding tone that I have been holding for myself is that of gentleness. Once I made the decision, I wanted to be sure to be as gentle as I can be with myself in this extraction process, as after all, I have been part of my facebook community for eleven years now.
Part of my strategy to honor my spirit in this endeavor is to leave in stages, for example, I left snapchat almost right away, and am planning on leaving facebook and instagram by November 25th. I will give myself until December 24th to figure out my exit from twitter, which might be keeping the account but not posting, and then re-evaluating it in two years, to see if I need to rejoin the twitter community. Or, it might just take me until Dec. 24 to really let it go. I am at peace with not knowing at this point, as my focus has been on the other two, the "big ones".
You can see in the image above a photo of my new physical address book that has been created from this process. Some of my fears in leaving fb and instagram have included, "What about all your friends and relatives, far and wide? How will they know to find you?" and "You are a full-time artist, how will people know to find out about your new work and past work?" and "What about fb invites to gatherings of friends and events?" and so on, many many thoughts presenting arguments for me to change course.
Yet I am pressing on. Letting people know with as much grace and love that I can that I am making a choice to leave, because it is the best choice for me, right now. I am allowing myself to re-evaluate after two years, letting those know that there could always be a re-entry point, if after two years it seems like it needs to happen. I am reaching out to everyone to send me their snail mail addresses, if they feel so moved. Even if they haven't met me in person yet. And I have been searching for family that I know I want to stay connected to, so that I can get their contact information so we can know how to stay in touch.
And the addresses have been pouring in, and each one that is offered, I diligently and lovingly pen the names of my connections into my physical book, the one you see above. Each message sends a pocket of love, of a desire to stay connected, to be a friend, to remain connected. These waves of love keep hitting me, and I feel the hopes of these very real living beings, hoping to possibly get a piece of paper with writing on it from me, and perhaps they will send them back.
Like a message in a bottle, are these words reaching you, now reading this?
I am getting ready to let go of spaces where I have spent time expressing myself, connecting, sharing, contemplating. And in that letting go, I find myself here. This blog is my new portal on the internet. A place to be found.
Thank you for finding me here. I strive to be my authentic self, keeping the fire going. Oh, and as for the caribou golden curry? It turned out very good, made with smoked caribou from a Potlatch in Minto. Just what I needed to reflect, write and share.
Allison Akootchook Warden