My Twitter account had become a source of anxiety for me, and the longer I stayed away the more my online inactivity haunted me.
"I SHOULD BE ON THERE. ENGAGING. RETWEETING. STAYING UP TO DATE ON WHAT’S BEING POSTED BY PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATIONS I FOLLOW."
But every time I opened the app I quickly became overwhelmed with my feed. There was just too much content, and most of it I found irrelevant. So I did the social media equivalent of an unsubscribing-from-emails-binge. I went through the list of accounts I followed (1,300+ at the time) and one-by-one trimmed the fat. Then Twitter showed me something profound. About myself.
"I WAS A FREQUENT INTEREST-CHANGER."
The accounts you chose to follow on Twitter are kept in the order you select them, and as I went through my list I witnessed gradual shifts in my interests: entrepreneurship, Chicago influencers, restaurants, food advocacy, event production, social enterprise, nonprofits, international aid, community development, traveling, and more. Each interest represented a stage in both my personal life and my professional journey. It was uncomfortable to see my personality so candidly summarized by a list on social media, ironically, since social media is a platform we voluntarily use to publicize everything we do and say.
"I’M A PERSON DAMNMIT, NOT A PROFILE."
But of course I wasn’t actually mad at Twitter. Or at myself. What was there to get mad about? Instead, I had to address a deeper feeling that I had been suppressing recently: that time was moving quickly, and with it I was changing quickly too.
WHEN YOU’RE AN ENTREPRENEUR YOU OBSESS ABOUT WHATEVER COMPANY, PRODUCT, PROJECT, OR IDEA YOU’RE WORKING ON.
You focus on it intensely, so much that everything else that does not directly relate to it becomes completely irrelevant, even the passions you once were fired up about. Not that they no longer matter to you, its just that you don’t have the time to keep up with them, and they begin to fall further down your daily to-do list, until your priorities have once again evolved to reflect your current obsession.
THE HARDEST PART ABOUT BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR IS THE CONSTANT DEMAND ON YOUR TIME, WHICH ULTIMATELY AFFECTS YOUR PERSONAL INTERACTIONS WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY.
Recently I lost a close friend that I had grown up with, and I spent the weekend reconnecting with people from my childhood. People who I love dearly but haven’t seen much of the past few years. And I felt guilt, and deep regret, that my constant strive to develop my career, my companies, and my personal interests, had commanded so much of my time. I felt that I had chosen a life where I met hundreds of people, but had missed out on connections with my closest friends.
"TIME PASSES QUICKLY, AND IF THERE’S ONE GOOD THING ABOUT GETTING OLDER ITS THAT YOU REALLY DO GET WISER."
So I love my work. But I love people more. And unlike the frequently changing interests we have throughout our life, the friendships we have should be guarded, and cared for, because the longer we have them the deeper they become.
"TIME IS FLEETING, AND WE ARE CONSTANTLY EVOLVING, BUT GOOD FRIENDSHIPS SHOULD LAST A LIFETIME."