By raise of hand…
Have you ever been in a crowded place and pulled out your cell phone, not because you had anything specific to look at, but because you felt slightly insecure?
This weekend was the first time in my blogging career that I didn’t have a breastfeeding baby or a little man too young to leave at home so that I could attend a blogging conference. For three days I lived in blog land complete with the passing around of the most unique business cards you’ve ever seen, networking with big wig companies and learning all about the do’s and don’ts of blogging. SNAP did not disappoint. While I gained quite an education in blogging I also came away having done a bit of self introspection.
SNAP welcomed over 500 bloggers, 99% of whom were women and I knew only a handful of them. Walking through the lobby, I navigated my way through brightly coordinated outfits, perfectly accessorized with cutsie jewelry, a sea of selfies and hysterical laughing. On several occasion, bloggers would spot each other from across the room, squeal with delight, then sprint to each other and embrace as if having been separated by a long war. Although I made a lot of really great connections with old and new friends, I’ll admit I felt a bit on the outskirts of this mega reunion.
Numerous times I found myself needing some quiet time from the chatter and social festivities.
Numerous times my polite smile face needed a break.
Numerous times I just wanted to sit in front of that Little America, 700 degree fire place and just veg.
Maybe I was just so exhausted from being a mommy that the time away translated to vacay time? My point is, I found that as much as I wanted to, it was really hard to just sit and “be” amongst a group. In the business world the personality traits that are praised and rewarded are, “outgoing, people person, team player, assertive.” But what about those who are quietly productive and driven? I felt like I had to either be socializing and if I wasn’t, I found myself picking up my phone pretending like I was attending to important business. I noticed I wasn’t alone. Several other ladies that had decided to cop a squat were all looking down at their phones busily scrolling and tapping away. Maybe they really did have important business? Throughout the conference I didn’t ever see one blogger solitary (without company of another person, or electronic device).
Speaking for myself, I certainly didn’t have the amount of important work that caused me to be on my phone as much as I was. When I finally tuned in to what I was doing I realized I was using my phone as a social insecurity crutch.
Tell me I’m not the only one who has done this?
Have we become so connected that we are fearful of being alone with ourselves?
This past weekend there was nothing I HAD to do except be with myself. It was interesting to step out of myself and observe my own behavior sans child hanging on my leg or attending to a sink full of dishes. After having acknowledged my bad phone crutch habit I have to accept that by nature I’m shy, slightly intimated in large social situations and being an observer and that’s okay. It’s not that I don’t have a loud, opinionated voice but by nature it takes me a second to warm it up. At what point in time did these traits harbor inferiority?
All the quiet ladies, all the quiet ladies…put yo hands up…