In a melodramatic kind of way, you could say I’m going through my Blue Period. Usually when I’m going through harder times, it’s counterbalanced with something good in another part of my life to feed off of. But this is the first time where everything seems to have gone monochromatic, and I’m getting tired and frustrated with trying to turn it around. It won’t last four years, and I’ve managed to find a Beauty in the Blues
The vibrancy of a new job as dulled. The excitement of making new friends has been discouraged. And the passion of a new love has dimmed to a bittersweet sadness. I’ll add him to my gallery of past loves, and hang his picture in a golden frame.
One of the sweetest things about my time with Ronan was that he wasn’t on social media. It was so refreshing to know that whatever we did, it was between the two of us. It also felt like I was discovering someone new, and would have to spend more time with him to find out who he was, rather than just look up his summer travels to America or his sports team college photos. It was authentic, private, and free.
This sweetness with Ronan was counterbalanced with this impersonal atmosphere at work where everyone said “where’s Patrick?” “I don’t know, check Instagram”. Why couldn’t we just tell each other where we were or what we were doing? Maintaining an image on social media, and growing his account followers is all my boss cares about. Sometimes I feel like I’m working in Disneyland, and we’re all the source of entertainment, and Patrick is the star that people line up to see, except he hasn’t done anything exceptional himself.
So inspired by both of these vignettes, I have finally decided to pull the plug on my own social media accounts, save for this blog and LinkedIn. And may I just say how empowering it feels? Being with Ronan made me realize I want all of my relationships to feel authentic and free, not just a select few. If someone cares enough to know about my life on a regular basis, then they should also have no problem shooting me a text checking in. Relationships are two-way streets, and I think what social media does, is it makes us lazy. We have access to the details of someone’s life, without putting in the effort to share some of our details in return. That human connection is lost, and so is the gift of discovering someone else’s experiences and how that affected them. The multidimensional person literally gets flattened into a screen of facts without proper context. I don’t want to be reduced to an online CV of personal experiences, and I don’t want to “know” others based on their personal CV, or how they choose to present their CV.
In the midst of these feelings of sadness, and since deleting social media, I’ve reached out to friends, and they’ve reminded me that even though I struggle with feeling lonely here in Ireland, I’m not actually alone. I do have friends, and they are also struggling through similar things, I just can’t see it. But just because I can’t see them as often as I’d like, it doesn’t mean I don’t have friends, and it doesn’t mean they don’t exist. And our relationship, no matter how often we talk, is very authentic.