Only a few people know about this, but I’ve made the decision to SEMI-retire!!

I am semi-retiring from social media.

Keeping my social media accounts, I will still be e-around but lessening their usage and place in this short and wonderful life.

Back in 2008, a buddy told me I needed to ‘get with the times’ and get me a Facebook. What in tarnation was that even?

I recall my hesitation about letting people into my life.

‘Sure’ I said. ‘I’ll see about it later.’ Thinking it sounded way too personal and invasive to me, I told me ‘No thanks.’

So here we are 10 years later and I’ve shared our kid’s graduation pictures, wedding moments, our anniversary pix and I’ve shared untold personal stories. I’ve let the world see my pet peeves such as adults have seemingly all regressed to child-like states so much that we address each other by Mr. or Ms. and first names.

I’ve shared the birth of our perfect and amazing first grandchild and I’ve shared sweaty pix from the gym. I’ve earned this social media t-shirt.

The downside to these electronic life participations is that they are like chocolate oatmeal cookies. (I’ve shared that too). Too much of a good thing is not a better thing. It can be damaging.  And in the case of social media, I’ve discovered that while we are sharing our passions and life, we can actually ‘lose’ ourselves.

Perhaps we’ve even given ourselves away? We no longer have our safe and personal spaces.

We’ve shared too much.

No matter how much I want to preach about men’s and boy’s rights (yes you read that correctly) and pro-life stances that I have, nobody is going to see life through my lenses or change their views.

One exception is my post about the dangers of looking at an eclipse and my personal loss of vision due to an eclipse viewing in the early 80’s.  It went viral and before I knew it I was on television. Hopefully, someone’s vision was saved from that sharing. It’s otherwise highly doubtful that sharing a picture of my taco from my last meal is going to have a notable impact on anyone’s life.

However, I still harbor the compulsive disorder to whip my phone out in Walmart and post about the woman carrying her ‘therapy’ dachshund while she is shopping and laughing like an apparently well-adjusted person. She just needed to cuddle while she shopped. I would like to go up to her and ask her if she’d hold my therapy snake while I go potty.

I would LIKE to post that personal dream but I restrain now that Mr. Mark (scoff) has entered into his semi-retirement.

It takes too much time to compose, edit, go back and read the comments to posts. And then one has to argue his point that having animals roam around a hospital makes the medical professional who went through microbiology downright hivey.

The first thing I did on my semi-retirement was ‘unlike’ many pages that were keeping me stirred up as I went through my feed. These pages were feeding a fire in me to share, and comment.

Social media gives everyone a tall platform in the town square; complete with red, white and blue banners and our own personalized megaphone to tell the whole world what WE think.

And they should listen to us. Because OUR way is the right way.

We’ve spent countless time gathering our thoughts, spell checking for the grammar nazis and formulating just the right approach to our town broadcast only to read an argumentative comment or a quote from a site that dispels the truth of our post. Then we have to spend time defending ourselves or just delete the whole thing. President-haters will always hate and despite discussions about bleeding orange to an absolute anemic state, Tennessee football continues to suck.

Once that I ‘unliked’ all or most of the pages that hit my journalistic sore spot, things changed. I didn’t see things that compelled me to share. I didn’t have a need to keep reading articles or spend time looking through comments like MJ eating popcorn in a movie.

I had more time all of a sudden.

I had more time to do other more personal and productive things like writing this blog post. I will continue writing because writing was my first love.

I found time to read a book again. And I have more time if I chose to scroll through my feed and see what is going on with my friends and family.

Since my semi-retirement from social media, I’ve even forgotten my phone on occasion and had to go old school and resort to reading the contents of a shampoo bottle while I was indisposed.

I just don’t have my phone with me as much because I don’t have the internal need to see who has the latest opinions on the issues of people that need a comfort blanket because they’re still crying over an election.

Historically, when I’ve had social media conflicts, I’ve been reactive and ‘deactivated’ my accounts.  That’s like saying ‘I’ll never eat another cookie’ and it’s not logical.

It’s good to see and read what everyone else has going on! And I will still post and share some events and pictures but it’s highly doubtful that I ever post about emotionally charged things such as the pitfalls of naming a child a unique name like ABCDE.

There will still be occasional pix of children, grandchildren and twistings of Chevy. I’ll just be keeping the social media bench warm.

The biggest thing I have gleaned as the result of my semi-retirement from social media is peace of mind.

I may even sleep better not reading, sharing and then editing the comments to my link to the article about Melania’s apparent poor choice of hats for her African safari.

That’s the best that I can tell about it,

~Mark