Do you know where I am right now? Neither do I. That’s because I am writing this to you from the past–or at least it’s the past where I am now and ostensibly that would leave you reading this in the future and I can’t predict precisely where I’ll be when this post goes live. I promise that I didn’t intend for this to be the lead off post for Diabetes Awareness Month. It’s just that I’m dealing with a problem that I legitimately need to examine. It may be a problem you’re familiar with too: my life is dominated by a social media addiction and it’s time to talk about it.
I’m not making light of the term addiction; I’m calling it like I see it. Similar to most people who have a problem like this, I never really saw it as a problem until recently. Quite the opposite, it’s been directing my life and the ways in which I invest my time. Given the fact that this approach has become normal for many people I know, it’s been difficult to come to a moment of realization. The tail is officially wagging the dog–and that’s where the difference between “useful” technology and “addictive and unhealthy” technology lies.
The technological world around us is filled with opiates meant to lull us into believing that we are experiencing life by staring at bits of glass, plastic and metal. I came to the conclusion that it will rob me of the life I have if I let it. If reading this blog and listening to my podcast doesn’t actively inspire you to get out and get your own piece of the adventure–then you should unsubscribe and stop reading. I’m not just saying that–I’m dead serious and I need to apply that principle to myself too. If my writing and creating is getting in the way of doing more with my life than just talking, I should stop publishing and get out and DO more.
In the week preceding the Red River Gorge meetup I was going out of my skull trying to get blog posts and podcasts queued up so that you, dear reader, would not have to experience any lapse in content as I am currently out on the road doing whatever it is we do here. I was stressed out. Fried. Anxious at the thought of being away from social media. Something went wrong. I have gotten so wrapped up with publishing and maintaining social media growth that I am finding it harder and harder to get time to climb and train. No one is forcing that on me–that’s my own lack of discipline.
I’ve never called myself a blogger because my purpose has never been writing to develop a social following. I am a climber. A type 1 diabetic. My mission is to share the action that can change the way people perceive their limits–the blog and the podcast and social media are tools to share it. Or at least that’s how it started! Sure it may all seem like semantics from the outside–but realizing that I have let my priorities slip has allowed me an opportunity to do something about it.
So–what is important? Is technology bad? Is social media a waste of time–is trying to be heard simply narcissism? Yes and no. When the aforementioned things help me DO more and DO better in my life, then they are good. When they only anesthetize the boredom that would otherwise inspire action–then they are bad.
LivingVertical started because Stefanie and I were doing something remarkable through Project365–and the overflow of that action was shared content–but the content came from action. I didn’t even realize that this had changed. I’m still psyched on LivingVertical and I know that the only way for me to modify the way I spend my time is to set an outrageous climbing goal that will force me to follow through on my priority. I like seeing my audience grow but I love seeing my efforts make a tangible difference in the lives of others and I still believe the key to that lies in commitment to action.
Reading about trying isn’t trying. Writing about adventure isn’t adventuring. Talking about diabetes isn’t changing diabetes. It’s what we do with the reading and writing and talking–it’s the action we create. Maybe it doesn’t have to be a slow death of the human spirit if we are diligent to turn the addiction into action.