Ever thought about moving your existence offline?
I’ve been mulling the idea over for awhile now but honestly never thought I could accomplish it. Truth be told, I never really WANTED to accomplish it.
I like my online life.
Simple as that.
In fact, I get all sorts of
bitchy cranky when people suggest that I take a digital break.
That being said, I’ve been all sorts of burnt out recently. My iPhone was quickly becoming my own personalRing of Sauron. Something drastic was required.
Then I came across a Fast Company article that inspired metorethink my indignation at the notion of a digital hiatus.The piece, titled Barantunde Thurston Left The Internet For 25 Days & You Should Too,chronicles the author’sdecision to abandon all social media”including, but not limited to, seeing, reading, downloading, syncing, sending, submitting, posting, pinning, sharing, uploading, updating, commenting, tagging, rating, liking, loving, upvoting, starring, favoriting, bookmarking, plus-oneing, or re-anythinging” for 25 days.
In one of the companion pieces to that article, (and there are many of them) it was suggested that the best time to unplug was when going on vacation. Which, as fate would have it , I was about to do.
So I jumped on to the digital detox bandwagon. For five days I left behind two of my biggest temptations – Facebook and Twitter. (Full disclosure – I held on to Instagram. Baby steps, people.)
A mixture of emotions – anxiety, relief and empowerment.
At first I was anxious about lack of information. I worried about missing events, announcements and breaking news. I stressed about falling “out of the know.” But surprisingly, I adapted quickly. So quickly, in fact, that on day two I decided to delete the apps entirely from my phone.
During my time offline, I learned a lot about myself and boundaries. I found that I owed much of my burnout to my own inability to literally “shut it off.” You see, like Thurston, Ihad given apps, websites, and services the right to publish my activities and to interrupt my life with their unsolicited alerts. Those alerts were a constant reminder of the digital world flying by. They pulled me away from the present and divided my already ADD mind into a million new directions.
When I returned from vacation, those alerts were the first thing to go.
I don’t miss them AT ALL. And as a result, I’m spending less time on each social network.
I consider it one small triumphant step in the right direction.