love & miss communication

Let’s kick this off with a poll. Who noticed I deleted my Twitter?
Nobody? That’s what I figured. Moving on…

“What do people put online? All their best stuff. Their glamour shots, fabulous vacations, pictures of them with celebrities or at cool events. Videos of their kids riding their bikes in Izod shirts on sunny days. Nobody chooses a fat photo for Facebook. None of my friends would dare post their marital spats on YouTube. No, they post clips from cheery surprise parties. There have to be ten Tweets about job promotions for every one about getting fired. It’s not reality. And while intellectually I know it’s not reality, it still bummed me out every time I went online.”
-Evie Rosen, love and miss communication

A book review and a blog post all in one. This is certainly unchartered territory for me, so hopefully I don’t completely screw it up.

I happened to purchase this book off of Amazon back in 2015, yet I just got around to reading it in the first two weeks of 2018. I believe everything happens for a reason and fate is our friend – waiting to read this book actually turned into a blessing. While technically a fictional story, I somehow found myself inspired at the turn of every page.

love and miss communication follows the life of Evie Rosen, a corporate attorney at one of New York City’s most elite firms. The successful, single, thirty-four year old is addicted to the internet – so much so that she still Google’s her ex. After what can only be described as a series of extremely unfortunate events, Evie chooses to give up the internet.

Yep. You read that right. She gave up the freaking internet.

In a world so reliant on technology, it’s crazy to imagine cutting such a large piece of it from your life. I may be a little more shocked with the concept because of my professional background. In an industry where social media plays such a key role, it’s almost impossible to unplug. Southeast Missouri shut down the other day because of some bad weather, right? I found out all the schools and other local businesses were closed because of Facebook and Instagram.

One of my best friends actually took Facebook and Snapchat off his phone a few months ago. Since he never had Instagram, Twitter is the only digital platform you can find him on. I remember when he told me he deleted Facebook. I thought he was crazy, but I mean it was one of three social platforms, so he was still connected. It wasn’t until he deleted Snapchat that I decided he was actually insane..

Now I’m thinking he had the right idea. Before we move on with this blog post, there’s a very harsh reality I need to share with you all. Ready? Here goes nothing:

My name is Kristin Funderburk and I’m a social media addict.

Before you tell me I’m overreacting, shut-up and listen to what I have to say. I made the decision to delete Twitter about a week ago. LinkedIn also got the axe.

You right now: “Wow.. a week. Really seems difficult, not.”

I decided to put Instagram where the little blue and white button for Twitter use to sit on my home screen. Why? Instagram’s pink and gold gradient would hopefully stand out to me every time I thought about checking Twitter. The goal was to become at least a little more aware of how often I’m picking up my 6+.

Holy shit you guys. It worked. I pick up my phone a LOT throughout the day. I’m not constantly on it nor does it hinder my job performance, but checking stories and feeds is always a quick little escape between tasks. The crazy part about the whole thing though, was I didn’t decide to open Instagram or Snapchat in place of Twitter. Instead I put my phone down and moved on to the next job on my to-do list.

In this last week I swear I’ve engaged in more conversations, rediscovered my love for reading, cooked more, finally started working out again, and didn’t totally mind folding my laundry. Why? Because I told myself there was nothing else worth wasting my time on. I finally tried to get into the mindset that whatever I was currently doing, was more important than trying to see what everyone else was up to.

I know not everyone has the same “addiction” I do, which means I know some people are reading this and think I’m extremely stupid. That’s fine. Honestly, my goal is to be more like you guys who don’t spend hours on social media every week.

With that being said – I’ll be saying goodbye to Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat come February 14th, Ash Wednesday, the first day of the Lenten season.

It may sound superficial to some of you. It may sound absolutely idiotic to others. But it’s my hope that I can continue to become more aware of the incredible things happening right outside my window. It’s my hope that I can stop justifying my life based on the number of likes a photo receives. It’s my hope that I no longer care who slid into my DM’s or checked my most recent Snapchat story. It’s my hope that instead of trying to be clever in 140 characters or less, I can network in real time with people, face-to-face. It’s my hope that by disconnecting, I can actually reconnect with my friends, family, and, most importantly, myself.

If you read, I would recommend you check this one out. It’s a simple and sweet love story with an extremely modern twist. I don’t believe that Elyssa Friedland intended to write a book that inspired someone to delete social media. However, she did a wonderful job telling Evie’s story and reminding us all that great things tend happen when it feels like life has gone straight to hell.

“It was undoubtedly getting harder for Evie to ignore the mounting inconveniences of being computer-less. But still she was confident about maintaining her abstinence. Albeit slowly, quitting the web was purifying her mind the way drinking kale shakes would detox her body. Without Facebook’s news feed streaming into her mind like an IV drip, she felt freer than she had in years. … She was free from feeling like she needed to measure up with posts of her own. Free from discovering things about people she was better off not knowing. Free from scouring dating websites for fresh meat. And that was worth not knowing who the senators from New York were for at least a little while longer.”
– Elyssa Friedland, love and miss communication.

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