Modern Day Koan

What is life without sharing it on social media?

Most of us here may laugh or even scoff at this inquiry, but chances are, if you’re reading this, it may be a question to consider for yourself.

Sunset through the Chisos Mountains’ “Window”

When I set out for my latest epic adventure to Big Bend, I was sincerely looking forward to unplugging. 7 days passed without checking my feeds, emails, texts. I intended to do this, but the lack of wifi and cell signal kept me honest.

I lived in my body and the moment. Instead of scrolling through memes, dumb quizzes, and selfies, I was excited by wildlife and the possibility of spotting a desert critter. Pointing out scat, identifying flora, taking in incredible vistas, and gazing in wonder at the seemingly endless starry sky were my daily activities. I got lost in hours of real conversation, laughter, and connection with another human being, face to face.

As the end of the trip loomed near, I began to feel a slight swell of anxiety…not about getting back to responsibility per se…but about getting back to social media. Usually, right after a run, ride, race, trip, I immediately post about it. I share the pics, the commentary, the strava data. I couldn’t this time and that nagging struggle between “I’m totally fine not posting about my race!” and “Why do I feel like it’s not a complete experience without posting about it?!” reared its ugly head.

Sunrise at Big Bend Ultra 50k
One of the many breathtaking views on the race course.
The irony was we came up the dangerous side of the sign before seeing the sign. 😂
We both clinched second in our age groups!

The latter realization made me cringe at myself. I’ve often hidden behind, “I’m creating/maintaining my brand. I’m a social media marketer.” But honestly, that is not all of it. Social media is changing us, especially if we are not mindful of its usage. I will keep reminding myself to keep life simpler and that, of course, the things we do leave an impact and have meaning, regardless of it being acknowledged on the interwebs. And loneliness is a thing, but social media isn’t going to provide the real connection you crave.

Put yourself out there in real life. That’s true vulnerability. Climb a mountain, gaze at a starry sky, run all the miles, ride your bike, take a swim in the ocean, bake bread, sing a song, paint a picture, write a story…most important, love deeply.

Summiting Emory Peak

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