May 5, 2016

It's Such A Shame Our Friendship Had To End

(song: Purple Rain/artist: Prince)

I had a social media intervention with myself. I freely admit that I spend entirely too much time surfing Facebook and Instagram, but I was also wasting precious time by trolling my running apps and peering into the lives of my able-bodied running "friends".  

Recently, I ran into a cyclist pal that I noticed hadn't been logging his rides on our shared social media running/cycling app, Strava. When I asked him why, he told me he had quit using Strava. In fact, he had quit all social media. I was shocked. I mean, if you don't Strava your ride or run, did it actually happen? He said he got so caught up in "how far, how fast and how often everyone else was riding that I stopped enjoying my own rides". Light bulb moment. 

I literally CAN NOT RUN, yet I found myself refreshing Strava 500 times a day to see what other runners were logging. Was it boredom? Regret? Wishful thinking? Envy? All of the above? I don't know. I do know that trolling splits and sweaty post-run selfies was a form of self-inflicted torture. I am not physically capable of being competitive right now. Instead of focusing on my current ability, I was wishing I had the ability of my fellow Strava runners. Longing to run the Brooklyn Bridge or be a part of a group training run. Wasting precious time. I deleted the app and my account (just in case I was tempted to log in and reminisce about my past runs...). I also temporarily deactivated my personal Facebook account and man, was that hard! What the hell am I going to do with all this free time?

Because I'm totally cheating on Strava and Facebook with real life.

Don't get me wrong, I loved the encouragement from my fellow social media runners, but I need to place more importance on self-validation rather than counting the number of kudos I get after a 6-mile walk. Actually being present in the moment.  Listening to the sounds around me, instead of the lady in my ears telling me how fast and far I've walked. I miss that lady, but I will get over her. And eventually we'll get back together. Right now, a break is a very good thing. 

The first Strava-free walk is the hardest.  One day at a time....


  1. Way to go girl!!! Unplug and plug into life!!!

  2. Whew! I just decided to check in on you on fb and my first thought was you had dumped me ;) Glad you're taking a break. I just installed Strava, haven't used yet, but in searching on it today I found an essay in the Guardian about this exact thing - someone who got totally obsessed with it. Hmmm, maybe I'll just take it off my phone unused.

    1. Delete it! It just becsme an extension of the time wasted on Facebook. ( OK, I am still using Instagram but that's like the methadone of social media addiction. Plus, it's just pictures...)

      I could never quit you, DW. I miss your always-clever updates but I don't miss wondering where I left the last three hours. I'll be back when I feel like I can Facebook in moderation. In the meantime, someone please email me if an adorable puppy meme goes viral!