Don't laugh, but I've had dreams about writing a book since I was a little girl. I used to think I would write a poetry book or a book of short stories on life and love. Lately, I am really thinking I am going to write an anti-self-development-self-development book. I really think I'm going to title it Stop Lurking: How to Get The Fuck Off The Internet and Other Things These Books Don't Tell You. Cue in the lights: New York Times Best Selling Author, here I come!
But in all seriousness, we'll call this a rough draft, or at least volume one.
Lurking is the biggest habit we have as social media users. We don't even know, some weird percent of the time, that we are even lurking until we're 16 profiles deep into the new person we're dating’s ex of an ex 18 week old Instagram photo comments. We scroll on our news feed for hours as life passes us by to catch up on current events, what our friends are doing and what dumb ass tweet Donald Trump just posted. How insane is that? To figure out life, we take a Buzzfeed quiz. To know what our friends are doing, we scroll to read their feed. To be socially conscious in the world, we read the news comments and get angry with complete strangers. All for the love of social media and to stay "relevant" - whatever the fuck that means. (Even while trying to type out this blog, I've gotten distracted since I left my Instagram and Facebook DMs open. God forbid, my email was closed).
Rule number one on How To Stop Lurking: Get The Fuck Off The Internet.
Seriously, get the fuck off of it. With the recent death of "live colourfully" designer Kate Spade, I think it speaks volumes how our online persona is fucking with our psyche. We compare ourselves to the best, most edited, most staged version of someone else. We compare our lows, sitting in bed, no makeup on, feeling down on ourselves, not ready to start the day to the girl who staged her ironic coffee mug from T.J. Maxx, in her delicate all white, Pinterest perfect filled office saying how she’s "Ready to Take On Monday!"
You want to know how your friend is doing? Reach out. I don’t mean texting all day. Instead, meet up for coffee or brunch at that new spot you normally only wanted to go to take a picture of. But this time, don't. Just go for fucking coffee. Drink your coffee and enjoy the shit out of it. I promise, the internet will live on if they do not see another picture of a staged coffee cup, a brunch plate, or an elegantly delicious healthy smoothie.
"But, Natalie, haven't you taken pictures of those things?" "Aren't you on the internet?" No shit. Pot Meet Kettle. Now that we’re there, you obviously clicked on this to learn how to stop lurking. This is how I stopped. This is how my imperfect moments remind me to step away from my phone and LIVE once in a while.
Did lurking your new crush or your boyfriends followers help build trust? Did it change your situation? Did you find any quality information from the girl who liked four of his photographs? Men, did that guy that hit your girl up in her DMs wind up showing up at the door, 1990’s style, with a boombox blaring for her love? Nope, okay, then lets move forward. **
Have you ever had a friend that no matter where you went they HAD to take pictures? They wouldn't let you eat until they had picture-worthy photos? Or the friend who is so busy being on their phone that they aren't listening to your conversation while you guys are out and about? It's pretty fucking annoying; am I right? Don't be that friend. Engage. Take those photos, check your phone but remember to be present. Put your mind and energy into whatever you are doing in the moment. Live for the memories and not for the likes.
We want to be so relevant that we are losing sight of being present. We want to gain so many likes, comments and shares that we forgot about exploring, getting dirty, and creating memories. We are living in a life where we display happiness instead of truly being happy.
I think it's time to stop. I think it's time we learn how to live and truly believe in miracles or good vibes instead of just inserting a Pinterest quote on our news feed. Who's with me? Turn off your social media once in a while and turn on your social life. And as always, live to empower those around you. Someone you love needs it!
Side Note: **I want to also acknowledge that I tend to talk most about heterosexual relationships because it's easiest for me to relate to them. However, I realize this happens in all relationships regardless of sexual orientation. Since it's June, shout out to the LGBTQ+ Community. Happy Pride!**
* insert from book by R.h. sin
* photo from Costa Rica
* Kate Spade Inspired Quote found VIA google