Its been nearly 18 months since I lost wrote and so very much has changed! (including my hair - where did it all go?!)
I'm sure I'll start to cover it all in the next few posts as something has compelled me to write again. (I say something I mean Rebecca Campbell's Light Is The New Black read it now!) But before looking back, I'm gonna start with the here and now...
I now live in Hertfordshire with my wonderful partner Alex (he's got a post dedicated just to him coming soon). We're a little bit outside of London but close enough to still get to auditions and see friends. But sometimes you don't fancy the 20 minute walk to the station followed by the full price travelcard and train ticket combo you have to get as you're no longer in an oyster card zone. But it was all good. As a Social Media fiend I could just find out what everyone was doing by looking at their tweets, posts and stories. That was good enough right?
The joy of living with your boyf in a house with Sky TV and a telly meant we spent our summer nights snuggled on the sofa engrossed (with the rest of the nation) in Love Island. I say engrossed, I had one eye on the telly and one on my phone, none on Alex but still we discussed how we were Team Alexandra and thought Wes and Josh were the best double act since Keenan and Kel and how in love the two of us were compared to the bikini clad, muscle bound new age celebs om the TV. I would refresh my feed constantly throughout the day to see any updates but what I did see was a whole load of body shaming, racism, berating of women for their sexual and cosmetic choices and general self righteous judgement and I was hooked. And sad. And angry.
I would defend my opinions of the treatment of Samira, the life choices of Megan and the representation of Alexandra as 'the big girl' like a lioness. Annoyed by anyone who slated viewers and the show, anyone who bit back at ethnic and plus women saying they couldn't see themselves repped on screen. That bubbling anger began to seep into other areas of my life.
I became angry with my fellow actors. I would be grated by anyone who spoke negatively of the industry or of others out their striving. On Facebook groups I became a consistent commenter with an opinion on everything - even to the point that I was annoying myself. I knew it wasn't my nature to be that argumentative - yeah I can be stubborn but I'm not one for being abrasive. Regular me was trying to break out though. I began writing lengthy Instagram comments about acceptance, faith and focus. I was battling myself daily and for the world to see on ALL my timelines.
But Alex spotted it. He saw how involved in my phone I was, suggested I put it down once in a while. At first I brushed it off saying it was vital for work - if I didn't have my phone in my hand every waking hour I would miss my 'big chance' - but old me was listening and she knew he was right.
Making the decision to cease my social media usage was a big one for me. I had spent my third year of uni studying its mechanisms for my dissertation, it allowed me to stay connected to my friends and family around the world and gave me a way to not only promote the great work I had done but also to source more. I took a breath, I chose to have faith, I posted a note about my decision and I signed out.
The first few days were weird. I kept going to find the apps but I had deleted them all, then searching for them on my browser but stopping myself when it said Enter Password because I knew deep down I didn't want to. Some wonderful, wonderful people sent me texts and emails wishing me well and to keep in contact which made me realise I hadn't become a hermit I had just changed the ways I communicated with people. And then I started to relax.
I started to spend my time having actual conversations with real life humans in front of me (primarily Alex), I even Skyped friends I hadn't seen in ages so they could tell me what they had been up to and how those experiences made them feel - because you don't really get that real emotion in a 280 character tweet. I began to read more, books that raised my vibrations and improved my creativity, mood and receptiveness. I basically became more alert and awake.
Now I admit, I haven't been completely SM free. I have posted a pic of Alex and I on our anniversary (seen as our love story started online it seemed apt) and a video of my latest commercial because I'm not hiding myself and still feel it is important to celebrate myself. But apart from a couple of scrolls to see pics of my nephews and niece and if anyone has linked me to a good casting on twitter, SM is barely in my life.
And it is unbelievably liberating. I still believe in its benefits and am still reaping the benefits of those benefits, benefiting me brilliantly. But I got too involved, too blinkered and too emotionally charged by it all, that I knew it was time for me to let go. And give room for more of the present, the now, room for those who deserve my time and to be actively in their lives
So you out there, love or hate your social media feed but remember life is happening just the other side of that screen. Get involved sometimes.
P.S. odd afterthought...how will anyone know I've written this if I don't post it on social media.....?