My Ink Dance

Discovering Extraordinary Grace in an Ordinary Life

Dear Internet (A Letter to the Void)

Dear Internet,

I didn’t even think this was going to start as a letter. I just had a statement that kept reeling with every click and scroll and like. It was simple and complicated all at once, given my position. Yet, I found myself wanting to scream it at the top of my lungs over and over again.

STOP SELLING ME THINGS

The online world feels like a slimy used car dealership, with bold promises in bright colors and pitches made by slick men in awkward ties. And I hate it.

Not everything being sold costs money. But don't mistake that for being without cost. Click To Tweet

Free ebooks, the newest courses, the free webinar that dumps you into a sales pitch the way Disney rides leave you in a gift shop every single time. There are challenges and series and endless newsletters promising life changing information.

The constant barrage reminds us that we, in our current state, are not enough. We need to be more and then we’ll finally become. It’s like a mirage in the desert and we’re all so parched we believe it.

But here’s where it gets complicated. I’m part of it. Even here in this space, I fuel the beast because that’s what the ebooks and webinars and courses tell me I need to do to be a successful writer.

And as I ponder this dichotomy, turning it in my mind and my hands until I don’t know where to draw the line, I find myself torn.

I love the information you offer, but I hate it just the same. It’s convenient and detailed, but it swallows me in a black hole of knowledge.

And I honestly don’t know what to believe anymore. Ads look like news stories and every recommended product from a friend links to an affiliate earning program. And lest you think I am on my soap box, I assure you, I am just as guilty as anyone else.

Maybe the internet has become like the pyramids of life changing tupperware-legging-nail-polish-jewelry parties. Only without the snacks and awkward search for the cheapest item to buy so you keep your friends and get invited to the next party.

Somehow you make scrolling endlessly and sifting through hordes of information appealing to our voyeuristic nature. I’ve lost far too many hours to facebook-twitter-insta-pin scrolling. We long for connection through a glowing screen and hope the entertainment value can help us forget the parts of life that feel too hard. Although maybe television was our gateway drug in this department.

I've lost far too many hours to facebook-twitter-insta-pin scrolling. Click To Tweet

Maybe you never meant for this to happen. Maybe it was innocent and fun. Maybe it’s all as it’s supposed to be. I don’t have the answers. After all, I’m not Google, and I haven’t completed the last webinar I signed up for. Or the one before that.

I find it difficult to walk this ever-changing invisible line, but you should know I’m going to try.

I’m going to try to be a writer without pandering to my audience.

I’m going to try to find information without believing everything I see.

I’m going to try to connect and catch up without falling prey to comparison and envy.

I’m going to try to explore without letting go of what’s here and now.

I’m going to have times without you because it’s good for me and my people.

I’ve lost sight of what you really are. You, dear Internet, are a tool. So I will use you when it is necessary and keep you handy, but I will no longer think of you always, escape feelings in your constant acceptance, or think you know what’s best.

I may not be able to stop you from selling me things, but I can stop buying it all. My time is worth more than that. My heart is, too.

Sincerely,

A Worn Out Consumer


Sharing words with these great writers today!

            Holley-Gerth-Button-250x250 (2)            tellhisstory-badge

susan mead            GraceTruth-300x300            Kristin_Taylor_Button


 

 

About Becky Hastings

I am emotional and logical. I am strong and dependent. I am a juxtaposition of head and heart exploring it all through writing. And in all my mixed-up ways I am loved. I'm here to tell you that you are, too. Just the way you are.

26 Replies

  1. I, too, have an uneasy relationship with the internet, (every once in a while, in a rant to my kids, I threaten to burn it down!) and I appreciate your strong goals to be using the internet as a tool instead of allowing it to use you!

    1. Becky Hastings

      I love this! I would be right there beside you with a match….except when I need something from Amazon with 2 day shipping, or when I want to show people a picture of my kids, or when I want to…..well, I guess it’s a struggle no matter how you look at it! Trying to find ways to lessen the struggle!

  2. I really enjoyed reading this, Becky. The internet sure does have some opinions and likes to shout alot, I’m not going to disagree! I like your conclusions at the end, it’s so important that we are constantly checking ourselves and redirecting when life gets too noisy.

    1. Becky Hastings

      It’s funny because I started out blaming…blaming the internet for my lack of connections, my overwhelmed feelings, my struggles, but then I realized it was all about me and the choices I make. The internet sure does scream loud, but we have more control over the volume than we think. 🙂

  3. Your letter, your website, your heart … all so compelling! Your link drew me like a magnet over at Holley’s this morning and I’m so glad I dropped by. Blessings to you, to us all as we continue to navigate this online world, Becky.

    1. Becky Hastings

      Thank you so much Linda. It is such a hard thing, this online world. I often wonder what it would be like to live without it, but then I think….AMAZON! LOL So grateful to find like-minded hearts to navigate the ever changing waters with!

  4. Yes, I forget that it is a tool too. Let’s use it sparingly from now on!

    1. Becky Hastings

      Yes! (And sheepishly in little tiny font…..and how do I do that?! lol)

  5. Go, Becky! 🙂 The internet is like an annoyingly loud party, isn’t it? I bet you’re feeling that rush of silence that one feels when walking out of the party or concert–that beautiful silence. 🙂 Love it. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for linking up with #ChasingCommunity today! 🙂

    1. Becky Hastings

      Ahhhh….silence. It can be a beautiful thing! 🙂

  6. Amen! I can so relate to this. I get so tired of click bait titles and free information that you have to subscribe to receive. It’s information overload, only the information isn’t easy to get and is hardly ever what you expect.

    1. Becky Hastings

      True. And where do we find the balance as writers?

  7. Amen Becky!! That is exactly how I feel. I too have lost far too many hours to social media scrolling, while my “real life” is taking place right under my nose, and I am missing it. My focus over the past few months, is to set my focus on the things and people that are truly valuable and actually present in my life. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Becky Hastings

      It’s funny (sad) how much time passes with the scroll of social media. I relate so much!

  8. I love your thoughts in this post! They really made me stop and think about my time on the internet, its purpose, and my place in it. (And I can totally relate to the overload of information… and signing up for webinars that you never finish…)

    1. Becky Hastings

      Thank you Meredith. I think the more we consciously purpose our time online, the better off we will be. And I’m guessing that will look different for each one of us.
      And those webinars….ugh!

  9. Yes. Yes. Yes. You said it beautifully. I’m tired of following someone’s blog because I like their writing, but then every email I get is selling something. Even free gets tiresome. It’s enticing, but I finally decided that I can’t do it all. Thinking too much about how to how to grow my blog in every way takes my focus off of why I started in the first place, which then makes me write less. I have to set priorities and find a balance. Not always easy, but I keep trying. (And then I worry that if I do write a book like I want to, I might become the one trying to sell!)

    1. Becky Hastings

      Oh, Laura, we are speaking the same language here friend! It’s such a a push/pull, isn’t it?! I wish I had more answers, but knowing we’re on the journey together helps! And the book thing? Totally feel the exact.same.way. (not sure how to dodge that either!)

  10. I get you, girl. I so get this. 🙂 (picture nodding in agreement) And I had this conversation with a close friend who is a go-getter the other day. She asked why I wasn’t doing certain things with my blog to make it more profitable, and to be honest, your words are a pretty good description of what I told her. It is a fragile line to walk and I am not sure what side I am ready to step into yet, so I walk the tight-rope a little. I stepped away from link ups(even though I have one on my blog) because of this very thing. I missed the posts people wrote, though I didn’t miss the stress of trying to visit all those people and making sure I responded to all comments.
    In the end, I am obviously back at link ups, but I don’t want to be overwhelmed by the need to follow anyone else’s pattern except the one the Lord lays out for me. 🙂
    You are right, the Internet is a tool. And because of that, I get to read your words and smile.
    Great post!
    Blessings,
    Dawn

    1. Becky Hastings

      Dawn, your words are always so thoughtful and I think we are often on the same page. Figuring this out is HARD work, but I’m reminded, just like you, to seek God first in all of it. It’s tempting to follow man (because God doesn’t exactly have a blog blueprint for us to follow). But I, too, am working on going to Him and finding the way.
      Thank you for being here, and your words do the same for me 🙂

  11. I couldn’t have said it better myself! You can get the feeling that you need to sell your soul to have a successful blog. I always say blogging isn’t about writing. It should be, but to be success you have to be able to withstand the stress of the Internet. If you want people to read your blog, you have to read theirs. You have to comment, you have to like, you have to reply, you have to follow. LOL! I still don’t fully understand how all this works. It’s a tricky world to live in. You have to do this; you have to do that. It’s exhausting. Your words are true. Great post!

    1. Becky Hastings

      You are so right Sheila! It is a tricky business, and I hate that about blogging. I’m working on seeking God first and letting Him guide me as to what to do, but it can be so hard with so many (silent) voices screaming from the screen. I’m grateful to be with like-minded people along the way!

  12. Excellent. Thank you so much for sharing your heart in this!!

    1. Becky Hastings

      Thanks for being here Joy!

  13. Sister!! I so feel this vent. You have spoken aloud what many of your fellow citizens feel, but are in denial of:
    Mind control. It is real. We must be stronger than it!
    Continue to be a blessing and know you can connect with people without getting sucked into the void!

    1. Becky Hastings

      Thanks for your encouragement Stacey. And for reminding me that I’m not alone 🙂

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