I’m sitting on the wooden bench at the Botanic Gardens. Instead of the January chill all I feel is the determined Rocky Mountain Sunshine, blasting through the juniper and my hardened exterior.

Where did the soft go? Why have I had so much poison? What happened to the sun?

It’s become apparent that social media platforms are replacing cigarette companies— we’re hooked. David, my tech-genius husband, comes home weekly with new top secret info someone published about how these companies program our apps, and our minds.

Where is the sun?

For normal people, this may not be an issue. But for people who know about addiction and recovery—for addicts— it’s a freefall. Just without the chemicals or needles. No, scratch that. Without the needles. Because the companies fully rely upon and manipulate our biological chemical releases.

It’s cold.

Deleting the apps from our phones won’t cure this disease. I believe peace requires a severing of the wire, a complete removal of the tumor. Because as long as the accounts are open, the line is on hold. That buzz you feel? The need for the beer, or the wine or the break? That heavy? It’s worsened by the dial tones and leftover cancer cells, the constant hum of our hashtags and handles.

Yes, I’m afraid. There’s been great content and discussion and social change as a result of social media platforms. Thanks, God. But I can’t let my desire to help, to learn, to see, and to be seen further cloud the warmth I know is waiting for me at the other end of the phone. The real phone—the heart line, as Kenny Loggins says.

I will still produce content, share parenting woes, garden & Jesus thoughts, and all that shit but I will solely use to do so. It’s a safe space where the hum disappears and you’re welcome to come and go without manipulation or sponsored ads popping up.

Like Swoop, it’ll exist as a record for my children first and foremost, so that they know how to trellis beans, right a wrong, stay sober, show up, and survive cancer or parenthood when/if their day comes.

Maybe those are things we all care about. Maybe not.

I want the freedom & sunshine, and it’s clear now that—for me— those cannot coexist with Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. chirping just beyond my reach.

It’s curious, as my friend Shanen pointed out, that there’s an apple missing a bite on the backs of these devices we’ve allowed into our hearts and minds and bodies.  Where else do we see that image, that motif?  Could it be that our need to know everything, like Adam’s, has darkened the social landscapes and isolated us from the Light, from each other?  We know this poison, don’t we.

Love you.  For reals.

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  1. As long as you keep writing… xoxo … I keep seeing you enjoying your gorgeous babies more… relaxing more.. Soaking up life more. This feels so much like a good challenge… Could I possibly give it up? I lose sleep when I go to bed with my phone… checking FB until midnight… then up at 4:15 for work. My greater concern has to do with my three girls… all completely hooked… in various forms. Even though we have rules… and limits… Thank you for having the courage to choose this road Claire.

  2. So timely and well written, per usu. If I were closer, or when we’re closer, were throwing an unplugging party. I love you and your courage.

  3. Thank you for this Claire. I feel a darkness and sadness in my heart – reaching for my phone, seeing the people with so many friends, so many amazing things, trying to search for my own hapiness and truth… maybe even hoping to find that through this digital and superficial medium. I woke up this morning saying to myself that I can’t keep reaching for the phone instead of a hug from an actual living breathing human. Love this! Good on yah

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