During my pregnancy I’ve been very careful to try and keep in the usual loops I’m in for social, work, and networking. I figured that during my final months of pregnancy and afterwards, I’d really rely on the networks I’d built to keep me feeling sane.
A very interesting thing has happened this last month in particular: I’m finding I’m less and less drawn to them.
I thought it would be the opposite, the need to connect and still feel connected – when in fact I just don’t feel the same right now about keeping up with everyone. I reckon most people would have guessed this would happen, in hindsight it makes sense – I’m going through a very personal time right now, so putting myself "out there" to all and sundry doesn’t really gel with having a personal life.
I’m Twittering less, which to me shows there’s just less I want to say to the world in general. Email groups I’m on just seem so much more irrelevant right now, as do things like Facebook, Plaxo, LinkedIn and all those. I’ve got serious social network apathy.
My real friends network however is going great guns, I’m catching up with people I love before the impending new addition, and really enjoying properly catching up with good friends. And people that want to see me are making the time to track me down for coffees & cakes or lunches, rather than just tipping their hat to me on Twitter or Facebook once a month. It’s lovely.
Another thing that I’m finding are the "social network friends" favours I get asked for are getting harder to reply to – mostly as well because those asking seem to take no notice that I’m about to have a baby and think their favour is more important than finding out if now is a suitable time to be asking for it.
I think I’m going to enjoy introverting back to a real life, where people I interact with are ones who are genuine friends who get in touch not because they need something, but just to see how you’re going, and realise there’s more to life than their business. At some point I suppose, my social networks became more about business than pleasure, and it’s taken a shift in my personal life to realise this. They’re still obviously useful, but whether or not I’d call them social, I’m not sure I could anymore.
Now where did I leave that anti-social network of mine…?