Liking versus Interacting

I’ve just read two very interesting, thought provoking articles.  The first, by Elan Morgan (Schmutzie), “I Quit Liking Things on Facebook for Two Weeks.  Here’s How it Changed my View of Humanity” is about what her experience was to stop liking everything on Facebook.  The second, by Mat Honan, “I Liked Everything I Saw on Facebook for Two Days.  Here’s What it Did to Me” explains what his experience was while liking absolutely everything on Facebook.

I hope you will read the articles, and I hope it makes you think about what kind of content you are encouraging and allowing into your lives.  It certainly has helped open my eyes.

I’ve thought, several times, over the last months (years, maybe?) about my own trend of liking (and favoriting, on Twitter) links, pictures, posts.  Am I a bad person if I don’t like my sister’s photo? Does it make me unthoughtful to not like my mom’s re-post?  Do people know I exist if i don’t like or favorite?  Will my friend be mad if I don’t like her tweet or status update?

I’ve tried, several times, half heartedly, to “like” things less, or to “favorite” less tweets.  It never works, and I’ll tell you why.  I’ll also tell you why this time, with this change, it will be different. While I’ve tried in the past to “like” less things, that is ALL I’ve tried to do.  I haven’t supplemented my lack of liking with commenting or interacting.  Instead, I keep liking more and more things.

Some things, I don’t even truly “like,” but I “like” or “favorite” them because I feel its expected.  How stupid, to feel that a social media website, with live people that I know and love, will expect me to make a thumbs up sign or a star on their post.  We, as a society, have done this to ourselves, with the help of these fantastic social media sites and their algorithms.

Why? Am I lazy? Society has made it so easy to “like” and “favorite,” and move on.  No interaction.  Both articles above touch on the interactions.  By “liking” everything, the human experience within these social media sites disappears, and what is left is robots and algorithms, showing you crap it think you want to see.  As Elan explains, by commenting, and not “liking,” the social media becomes at least somewhat more social, more civilized.

I am going to give this an honest to goodness shot.  I will not be liking or favoriting anything, at least for a while.  I’m sure it will be hard.  I will have to make a conscious effort to comment on things I do like, and interact with people.  I am hoping it will make social media transform into what it truly was intended to be, a tool to connect, not a barrier to separate.

Please give those articles a read, they are both very good.  I know Facebook and Twitter, and all social media, is a trivial and stupid thing to talk about and spend time discussing, but so much of our lives revolve around it.  It has shaped who we are in this world and how we communicate, and now, I am going to try to allow it to help me communicate and interact with those I love, and stop arbitrarily giving thumbs up or stars to words on a screen.

Less liking, more interacting.  Who’s with me?

Stagnant

The best way I can describe how I have felt my running has been lately is stagnant.  With the stress of moving from my hometown, losing my daily running partner, starting a new job, and getting used to a new city with hills and humidity, my running has truly taken a backseat.

I feel as if I need to write it down, see it on the screen, and let it go.  I must let it go, progress, and move forward.

In April, I completed my first half marathon.  At that time, I had been in training for 6 months, and my body was tired.  I was unable to run it all, and I was frustrated that I couldn’t do it, but confident that I would achieve that goal.  After the half marathon, I took a little time off, and slacked a bit on the running.  I never stopped running, simply took it easy for a few weeks.

At the end of my “break,” I told myself I wanted to build a strong base for my running.  It was right about that time that my husband and I began seriously looking for jobs and apartments in KC.  Cut to July, and we had moved to KC and began new jobs.  The stress of packing, moving, and getting settled meant my running was down on the list of priorities  Again, I didn’t stop running, but I certainly wasn’t putting in the mileage I should have.  I’m ok with that, and thought I could simply pick it back up and train for my next half marathon, in October.

Photo Jul 27, 4 45 02 PM

It is here that I hit my wall.  I know it is a fact that you lose fitness, and it is a fact that I lost fitness.  Add that to the hills and humidity of KC, and I found myself struggling with the most simple of runs.  Adjusting to the new city life and trying to fit in runs that felt harder than they should have has seriously injured my running confidence.  I managed to put on a brave face and plow through as many runs as I could over the first month of living in KC.  I ran in new places, beautiful places, and saw other runners, and was motivated to get back on track.

James and I went home last weekend, to visit family and unfortunately attend a funeral.  I had planned on running a 5k with Mom that weekend too.  The race did not go as hoped.  The entire summer of running collapsed on me last weekend.  During a short run with Mom the day after the race, I cried, I laughed, I was upset, but most of all, I was relieved to talk it through, and get it off my chest.

Photo Aug 09, 7 40 41 AM

I knew, deep down, that it was all ok.  I had been through many changes, and it is totally understandable why my running had taken the turn it did.  Tonight, I talked to my sister and trainer, and again, got it off my chest.  I am now letting it go, moving on, and beginning from where I am, not where I want to be or think I am.

I know the half marathon I am running in October will not be perfect.  I am not going into it wanting to run it all, or wanting to beat my first half marathon time. I am going into it knowing it will be the largest race of my life (so far), and knowing that it will be a fun and amazing weekend with my mom and sister, and knowing that I am enough.

I am enough, and I am running again with brave wings.

Photo Aug 08, 2 07 03 PM