I’m not really going to stop using social media or texting, but the aftermath of the “Tony picture” incident makes me think I should make some changes.
Because we are all friends here, I will admit to looking at a few people’s Instagram feeds every day. There is Kyle (yes, still) – who I texted a while ago after (surprise!) another near-miss date, telling him I was going to go silent for a while and perhaps reach out near the December holidays. Kyle and I still follow each other on Instagram; he posts very rarely and it’s usually non-threatening (sports, a trip with his Mom, his son).
I’ve gotten better about looking at the IG “following” feed and seeing who’s stuff he’s liked or who he’s following. It’s goddamned pointless and gets me nothing except curiosity at best and hurt at worst.
Tony and I still follow each other on Instagram. I figured there is no point in unfollowing since I will look at his posts anyway. He’s not on Facebook (thank goodness) and he’s largely inactive on Twitter. Being pretty private, his posts are usually interesting scenes from work, his large art collection, or things he’s doing with his son. Yes, I know there will be posts with him and Mary, and seeing that actually helps me continue to move forward. It’s a constant reminder of the reality of his world of which I’m not a part.
And yes, I look at hers as well. I probably will continue to do so, for the same reason.
But that’s not what I wanted to write about.
In the last few days, the impact of the tangible shift in the interactions I have with men on my phone has started to sink in. The temporary few week blip of chatting with many men from Bumble and AFF is gone. Most of the other AFF men I referenced in an earlier post have just faded away. For those weeks it was far too much for me to deal with – I would drop conversations simply because I was too busy.
While both Alan and Leo are in daily contact, texting is kept to a minimum. Alan and I sometimes text back-and-forth in 10 minute spurts, but it’s rare. There isn’t an ongoing dialogue to fill any space in my day.
Lewis has been quiet. He said he’s been helping a friend with their business so he’s been working even more than usual. We are now on the same schedule on weekends with our kids, but it hasn’t manifested in anything. Just another reminder that what we have is all we will ever have. But regardless, he would often contact me daily if not every few days.
Tony is silent, obviously. Other than the email exchange we have not communicated. For a year we have spoken almost every single day (longer if I don’t count the few month break we had the summer of 2015). He has a custom tone for text and phone, and I haven’t heard it in two weeks. It’s his silence which is the loudest.
This is just an observation. I find myself looking at my phone wondering if I have a text from any love interest and – nope, nothing there. It’s not disappointment as much as its habit breaking. I have a moment of “oh, right” and move on.
Well, sometimes I fill that time with scrolling through Instagram.
But I’m learning a new habit. I have access to so much news and so many interesting magazine articles on my phone. I have tons of podcasts downloaded. Each time I get the urge to spend time on Facebook or Instagram – outside of getting up to speed on my actual friends – I am going to instead read a magazine article or listen to a podcast. I love to learn and it’s far more beneficial for me to learn what the “muscle shoals has got the swampers” lyric in Sweet Home Alabama means than wondering who took that picture of Kyle and his child last weekend.
So forgive me in advance if I pepper these posts with “today I learned” facts a la Reddit.
(And those of you who want to tell “read a book!” orsome such other put-down-your-phone advice, yes, I’m doing that too. This is about time I would otherwise be on my phone.)