Social media is taking over my life. Well, not just social media. Emails. Websites. Blogs. The internet never sleeps, and that, coupled with my insomnia, have made me something of an addict. I crave and need information, all of the information, right now. My phone is constantly in my hand, the computer is always nearby, and my sense of FOMO (fear of missing out, a termed coined by someone that is not me) is being triggered far more frequently than normal. I starting to find myself getting lost in the labyrinth of the internet for loads of time every day. Clicking a link on Twitter can lead me to a pin on Pinterest (where I stay for 20 minutes), that pin can direct me to a blog (which I click around for 5 – 10 minutes), that blog sends me to Instagram to check out a pic (while I’m there I check out my stream and double tap a bit), until I eventually end up on a Facebook page. Once I get to Facebook, I might as well clear the calendar for the rest of the evening.
It’s not the first time I’ve gotten caught up in the social cycle, and fortunately now I know exactly what I need to do.
I have to unplug.
Actually, I need to unplug.
The symptoms of being connected all of the time, at least in me, are quite detrimental to my overall wellbeing, as well as for my family. I’m tired and unable to focus because I’m overstimulated, and that leads to me being cranky. I’m wasting all of my good words on 140 character tweets and Facebook status updates, so my blogging and other writing work suffers. My wrists are sore from typing so much. And my family starts to get used to me being on the computer all of the time, and they start to expect it. That sucks.
I read an article about unplugging from social media by Baratunde Thurston in this month’s Fast Company magazine. In “#UNPLUG”, Thurston talks about how he disconnected from the internet for 25 days. No email. No social media. No helpful apps. And he survived. Here is a man whose friends call him “the most connected man in the world” who makes his living by sharing his thoughts online, and nothing happened when he signed off. So, what’s stopping me? Just like with anything, if you do something enough times, eventually it becomes a habit to break. I’m in it so deep at this point, I wouldn’t even know where to start.
Thank God for vacation.
Next week, my family and I are taking vacation. We’re headed to the desert where we plan to sit by the pool, read books, do crafts and play games. I’m going to pray, a lot, and listen. There will be lots of thinking, some writing (with a pen and paper), and tons of laughter. It’s going to be awesome! I have promised Terrence that I’m going to leave my computer in the room, and the phone will only be used for taking photos. I’m serious about this. There is no Klout score to measure how connected I’ve been with my family lately, but if there were, I guarantee I wouldn’t be receiving any Perks anytime soon.
There are so many really cool things happening online. I’ve met amazing folks through social media, had great discussions, learned how to do new things. Social media is all about sharing, but if I’m not doing anything interesting besides being online, then what is there to share? It’s time for me to unplug, y’all. Time to recharge, and get out of the social media maze. Am I worried that I’ll miss something while I’m offline chilling with my family this week? Yeah, a little bit. But I’m a lot more worried about what I’d miss if I didn’t log off.
Want to unplug but don’t know where to start? Check out this post on How to Unplug in 6 Easy Steps.