Mind & Body by Samantha Nichole

Mind & Body by Samantha Nichole

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Blue Journal: The Affair with Social Media

Journaling has been a hobby, therapeutic activity, and personal experience of mine since I was in third grade. It was in the third grade (which was quite possibly my least-favorite year of my whole childhood existence) that the blue journal was gifted to me. I had been yearning to have a journal FOREVER, it seemed, and one day, finally, after several months of envying Harriet the Spy and every other independent girl, my gorgeous blue journal with golden-edged pages was within my grasp. The smell of the new paper gripped me instantly, and I carefully numbered each and every page's lower corner with a pencil. I traced the Asian designs on the inside cover of the book. There were so many possibilities. That's when my relationship with writing took a turn from academic to personal. 

There were several more journals after my relationship with Blue Journal. Blue Journal was my first. Oh, if I must guess, I have to say I have filled 37 journals in my 26 years of existence. Journaling has been my constant. She is an old friend that I turn to after a rough day at school, work, or with a friend, but during college that intimate relationship changed.

In 2008 I registered with Facebook, my first social media account. I went from journaling once per day to once per month at best. Suddenly, my need to express how I felt on paper was diluted by a desire to share my thoughts, dreams, and opinions openly and publicly among friends, family, and some internet acquaintances. I would love to say that my habit wasn't affected by the grips of social media, but I won't lie. It was.

I'm glad that I'm now comfortable enough with my Self that I'm able to thoughtfully and maturely express my opinions, but as I'm growing as a woman I have come to the realization that there's something to be said about having a private space to be yourself truly, completely, and privately.

When I write, I go a place that's magical. That place is within me. If I can't retreat to a place where I am not being judged or ridiculed, then I can never relax and simply be me. My journal is a place where I can share my truest feelings; I believe that in order to be taken seriously and preserve our professional appearances we must edit our online posts to some degree. When I'm writing in my personal journal, I do not give myself the same restrictions. I write freely and passionately--fictionally and non. I find it funny how a recap of my day can turn into a fictional story of two runaway princesses who suddenly find themselves in the wilderness of a mystical land fighting robbers, hunting elk, or something else...

Today, I'm challenging myself to start journaling again. I'll write down the silly stuff like what I had for dinner, what my daughter said to a random stranger at the store, or how I am feeling about my life and relationships. I'll document my ambitions, personal and professional, and I'll write a fictional story that has nothing to do with my day. I'm not ready to let go of this relationship with writing. Social Media Accounts, I'm not ready to take a break, but perhaps you should take the back burner for a while.