I very much doubt that the world will become an emptier place should I discontinue updating everyone on exactly what I did at the gym today. There will be no volcanic eruptions or asteroids slamming into the earth. The world will simply continue as it has always done.
And why is it, exactly, that I feel the need to inform all and sundry just how bloody difficult that cardio workout was, or how my client's receptionist is a whiney, immature little madam who is so far up her own arse she can see her tonsils? Is it validation I need? If I don't post on Facebook or Twitter, do I cease to exist? Of course not. I actually exist in the real world with my flaws and moodiness and pouting silences, far away from the witty remarks and intellectual ponderings. The cyberworld gets to see the witty, interesting virtual me and thinks that this is the real me.
In fact, the real me isn't even the me that I think I am. You see, before coming here, I convinced myself that I am Tam Olckers, when in fact, the personality Tam Olckers doesn't actually exist. But that is a long discussion for another day and I digress.
I am quite seriously cutting down my virtual life. I am no longer going to be logging into Facebook several times a day to see how everyone is doing and to splash everyone's news feed with my petty, boring and unsubstantial remarks and comments. I don't live my life in status updates, comments and likes. I live it in sweat, blood, tears, laughter and copious amounts of coffee.
The decision to unplug comes in on the blazing comet tail of my other decision to no longer fill my life with emotional junk, clutter and noise. I no longer have the energy - or time - to get wound up in intrigues, scandals and photos of planking. Ditching the junk means ditching junk activities as well as all the junk food and junk thoughts I've been consuming. It doesn't mean I won't log on once in a while to say "Hi" to all the friends I won't get to connect with otherwise. I'll still post updates once in a while. I'll still comment and like and look at the photos of planking. Facebook has become the only vehicle of communication with some friends and family. I just won't be communicating quite as often as you've become accustomed to.
Luckily for me, the people I have on my social media are people I respect, love and would invite to an elaborate multi-course dinner at my home. Life, I've decided, is too short for cheap red wine and fake friends. I have paintings waiting to be born, and those of you who began reading my "Bitterhoek" saga will want to read more and I need the space - within myself and in my schedule - to do that. There is a lot of studying (of maths and science) to happen next year. There is no way I can do all this and still keep checking into Facebook six times a day.
It's time for me to live In Real Life. To have real conversations, cups of coffee and dinners with the people who live in Johannesburg and meaningful emails and letters with everyone else.
I miss the silence I had before. I miss seeing people face to face. I regret nothing.