A couple days ago I was scanning my Facebook feed and noticed a link to a post titled Texting Leads to Discontent. I thought it sounded interesting, so I clicked through to read more. It hits on a topic that is often discussed regarding texting and our constant need to be connected to others, but the way it was put really struck a nerve for me:
“I looked around the room and there were all my friends… texting other people, and I thought, ‘so this is what it looks like’.”
She asked, “What WHAT looks like?”
“DISCONTENT,” he replied. “There we were having our own get together and everyone was looking for a better place to be, a different party.”
That thought has really stuck with me since I read it. I’ve played it over and over again in my mind. I’m not one to spend a lot of time texting, but I do spend quite a bit of time on my iphone reading through my Twitter stream or commenting on my friends’ Facebook posts. Does it mean I’m not content in that moment? Not necessarily, but maybe sometimes it does. Maybe I am searching for something more interesting, something new to grab my attention, a way to escape the mundane moments.
Even before reading this, I’ve been backing away from the social media sites I used to obsess over. My hubby has commented that he misses my Twitter updates throughout the day. I wonder how many of those nearly 900 Twitter followers actually care about my infrequent updates? My guess is that I’m not missed, at least not by many.
Lately, I find that when I’m engrossed in the online world, I am less content with my everyday life. I love the internet for what it is – an amazing source of information, a way to keep up with friends and family across the country, and an opportunity to express myself creatively when I choose to. There’s a bad side to all of that too. I compare myself to others. I get jealous of others because they are smarter, prettier, have a better camera, have a better house…and on and on. I hate myself for being so petty about it, but at the same time, I can’t stop feeling that way.
Maybe I am looking for a better place to be, a different party.
Sometimes I think about what life was like nine years ago, shortly after my husband and I had started dating. I was perfectly content to curl up in his arms and watch TV or movies for hours at a time. There was no need to check my phone. There was no web site to repeatedly update. Of course, there were no children to distract us either. There really were no distractions at all. It was just the two of us together.
Nine years later, it is nearly torture for me to sit through an entire movie without doing something else at the same time. I’m constantly checking my phone or have my laptop in my lap. If not, I’ve got yarn and knitting needles to keep my hands busy. If I’m not doing something else, I can’t focus on the movie because my mind is shooting off in a million directions, thinking of other things. Always moving, always thinking, always letting the good moments pass me by.
Maybe this is what discontent looks like.