In the grand scheme of things it hasn’t been that long since I was writing somewhat regularly on this blog, annoying people with comments on others’ blogs and being a regular online presence as I outlined late last year, but then something happened.
Turns out I’m more human than I would always like to be and I can only handle so many changes at one time — even good changes.
In the past three months, I have taken on a new job with a lot more responsibility and moved across the country from Detroit to Seattle. It hasn’t been an easy transition to say the least.
While I’m lucky to have a great job and a super delightful talented crew of people to work with, just about everything that could possibly go wrong on my way out here went wrong — crooked movers and debit card fiascos not withstanding. Plus, there have been the regular technical and connectivity challenges associated with moving and a general lack of furniture.
Perhaps moving really does rank up there with death and divorce on the trauma scale.
Don’t get me wrong – I love Seattle so far; it’s a beautiful place and so many people have been very welcoming to me. I also have a great apartment in the city, but this, too has been a huge lifestyle change for me.
With so much going on, what happened for me is that I found myself with nothing much to say — or at least nothing much I felt comfortable saying online.
It’s not like I didn’t check in to see what was happening with people I care about, I just didn’t tell them. And, it’s not like I didn’t post updates, but I haven’t really engaged or responded much.
I discovered fear can be paralyzing — not just with real life connections, but also with those made online. I’m not sure why exactly, but negative feelings have a very insulating affect. Perhaps this is how I instinctively protect myself although I’m sure I’m not unique in this way.
The problem is, now that I feel ready to dive back in again, it feels different – especially on Twitter. I want to reach out, but my own inhibitions seem to prevent me from doing so. Who really cares if I haven’t been myself online lately?
For some reason I feel like I should explain myself or check in with friends to let them know I’m still alive (perhaps this post is my way of doing exactly just that). It’s tough stepping back into the way things were for some reason. I feel like there are issues to rectify or maybe it’s just the need to have those I feel connected with understand where I’m coming from at present.
Maybe I’m just over-thinking all of this, but moving out to Seattle without the usual cast of familiar faces (online and offline) reminds me of an album title by Modest Mouse, one of my favorite bands of all time, Lonesome Crowded West. When I log back into Twitter, I’m reminded of those words. How can a place be so crowded, yet feel lonesome?
Is social media really about relationships, or is it just about having a good story that others want to tell? This is the part that gets confusing for me.
Maybe it’s easy enough to jump right in. Getting started might be simple the first time around, but how would you recommend I go about rebuilding my very official online presence?