Why We Should Post Less When it Means More
Most of us feel it.
That urge to post on social media, especially when something awesome is happening, or when we see something significant, or when we’re on vacation in a beautiful place. Now, we even have Snapchat and Instagram stories to alleviate any potential guilt of over-sharing, and we can happily upload anything we please, safe in the knowledge it’ll be gone soon enough... perhaps before most of our connections even see it. Isn’t that weird, in itself? That even if not everyone will see it, that urge to post is SO deeply ingrained that we want to share it anyway… and that social media companies have found a way to make that so?
Yes, I see the hypocrisy in saying this, as we are indeed happy little posters over at iusetime! But, in all honesty, our drive for posting doesn’t come from a knee-jerk reaction when we see something cool. It comes from a genuine desire to connect with you, with those who we believe can find value in our messaging, in the most efficient, popular and effective way. Our posts - Instagram, Facebook, stories, all of it - are always a conscious choice to share something that will ultimately lead you towards finding something of value from us. That you can be sure of.
But I digress. What I really want to know is this.
If I asked you to describe something beautiful that may happen in your life, some soul-nourishing scene you see or experience while you’re out in the world - which you would NOT post about on social media, what would it be?
Does the answer come easy to you? If not, why do you think this is? Where does this urge to reach for the phone come from, every time life gets a little interesting?
Why has it become difficult to experience something wonderful without documenting it?
I'd like to think that part of that urge stems from a desire to be in union with the other people in our world - to strengthen our connection with others through sharing our experiences - but I'm not convinced this is the primary reason for the new norm. Think of wedding guests who are now asked not to take photographs during the ceremony so that the hired professionals don't end up with endless shots of guests trying to get their own perfect picture, rather than the bride and groom. Or of the couple out to dinner who spend forever getting the perfect shot of their dish, then take twice as long to compose their post, and barely say a word to each other throughout the meal. I'm not sure the connection argument is justified.
This isn’t about installing a mentality of guilt around how we connect with each other through technology - it’s the reality of the world we live in, and it’s not necessarily always a negative thing (Facebook’s ‘mark yourself as safe’ feature during an emergency is one of the most valuable initiatives they’ve had, in my opinion).
This is about ensuring that we can still recognise and absorb beautiful moments that are just for us. Moments that are hugely valuable to our independent soul, and need not be shared.
My husband Dan and I have just spent two weeks traveling through the USA - San Francisco, Las Vegas, New Orleans and New York - and I posted up a storm throughout them all. Each city was overflowing with incredible things to see, with a deeply ingrained culture so different from one another, all offering such great perspective as to how others with whom we share the earth indulge in and enjoy their life. I found immense value in each place, and was so happy to share that with you and the people I love.
Now, I’m spending the last week of the trip in sunny Jamaica… and have barely posted a thing. Far, far less than I anticipated I would. It is ridiculously beautiful - flawless skies, turquoise waters, music, love, vibrancy, indulgence and a heck of a lot of sunburn - and a rich culture of love and music that bares no comparison. But rather than going nuts with the phone camera, I’ve found myself retreating into the moment, and simply enjoying this last week of our trip for what it is - genuine rest. Rest for the mind, soul and body in a very special place.
This is my opportunity to absorb the energy and beauty of the island, put my feet up after two weeks of travel, and simply allow myself to exist. It’s my opportunity for some freedom from documenting the world around me, and it is bliss.
Of course there are still a handful of moments that I’ve felt the pull to share with you. Of course I took a few photos to hold as memories for my husband Dan and I to look back on with fondness… but, for our week-long stay, the shots below are pretty much it.
Our Jamaican visit has been restful, eye-opening, memorable, easy and above all, beautiful. It’s an experience we will hold within us always, deep in the soul.
One love xx