Yesterday was the first Sunday in a long time where I had no work, personal or blogging obligations. It felt really nice to hang out & chill. Sure I did a load or two of laundry, but I wasn’t frantically trying to fold it in between checking Facebook or other social media.
Speaking of social media, generally I check my accounts a lot throughout the day…and by a lot, I mean at least once every 1-2 hours (give or take). You would think I suffer from FOMO, which means fear of missing out. As someone who is a self-proclaimed pop culture & news junkie, I like to keep up with current events, as well as check-in on my friends & family. So I fill that “need” with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. However there are days when I just want to unplug from all of these devices.
There have been times in the past where I forget to take my smartphone with me on an errand. I’ve also left it at home on accident when I do school pickup & for that brief moment in time I actually feel free! Free to start a conversation & not feel like I have to check my phone when I hear the notification chime. I feel free to look people in the eye as we chat. Seriously though, do you have conversations with people who can’t/won’t look you in the eye because they are tapping on their phone? Guilty, although I try to avoid doing that. There are times when I have my phone on vibrate & yet I can still hear the the “bzzzzzz” of the vibration & feel compelled to pick up my cell to see what email/FB notification came in. I know I am not alone in this feeling. I feel guilty & lame for wanting to do that, but it is what it is.
I watched an episode of Nicole Richie’s reality show on VH1 recently. In the episode, she challenged her friends during dinner to stack all of their iPhones/smartphones in the middle of the table. It was a way to illustrate a point that we should give up our phones for just a little bit & have a civilized dinner conversation. The challenge – whoever picked up their phone first had to pay the bill for the entire meal. Maybe try that one at your next dinner out with friends?! 🙂
Last weekend I was at Disneyland with my immediate & extended family. About halfway through the Indiana Jones ride, for some technical reason the ride stopped for about 10-15 minutes. After about 5 minutes, three out of the four people in my row pulled out our cell phones (including me). However since I didn’t have any bars or reception on my cell, I stopped tapping at the screen & just talked with my family (who btw, immediately teased me & asked if I was going to blog about it as soon as we got off the ride). For the record, I did take a few photos in the tunnel of the ride & later posted one to Facebook. Look, just because I didn’t have reception inside the ride, that didn’t me from snapping a few pics! Lol…
As a blogger, the truth of the matter is that sometimes I just want to enjoy the experience without having to document it. There have been a few times where I went to a children’s event with my kiddo (for blogging purposes) & I briefly thought “Wouldn’t it be nice if I could just enjoy the moment without having to turn it into a Kodak memory via Facebook or blogging about it?” Wouldn’t it be nice to just live in the moment & let it be?
I realize these are first world problems. I also recognize that it was just this past Saturday evening where I was Tweeting & Instagramming a couple of pics of the Sunset Safari at the Los Angeles Zoo. This had nothing to do with blogging, in fact we were invited by my hubby’s friend who donates money to the LA Zoo. I posted a few photos because that’s the love/hate relationship that I have with my smartphone & social media. I just can’t help myself sometimes!
Every now & then I’m going to try to take a social media fast. That’s what I did yesterday when I hung out at my mom’s house with my daughter. It felt nice to unplug for a few hours. Although I didn’t completely limit myself from social media for the entire day, it was a start. You know what they say…baby steps! 😉
Do you ever take a social media fast or sabbatical? Would you ever consider trying it once a week or once a month? I’d love to know your tips & tricks for getting through a social media fast!
Good on you. I like your idea and think I need to start that at least once a week. Especially with the frequency that I feel I am “connected”.
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I have to say that it feels liberating to not be hooked to these devices, if just for a few hours or even one night a week. 🙂
I’ve been trying something similar lately when I go to friend’s events. On one hand, I love to promote their work or their art or whatever it is that they’re doing. On the other hand, it really takes away from me being present when I’m there. So I might snap a picture or two but for the most part, I try to keep my phone put away.
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That’s a good tip Jen! I’ll have to remember that the next time I’m at an event. Take 1 or 2 pics & then put the phone/camera away. That way I can engage in the activity at hand rather than just trying to document it.
Catheryn Cervantes says
I go off the grid every time I go to our place in Mexico for the entire weekend. I have no internet at the house there and I refuse to pay for additional internet roaming. It feels real good to get away from the gadgets and social stuff but on The 2 hour drive home I am glued to my phone catching up lol.
Going offline while in Mexico sounds great! That way you can really enjoy your vacation weekend & get away from it all.
Melissa Burton says
I find breaking away from social media exceptionally difficult too. I’ve done some half hearted attempts at having a cutting off time but without really enforcing it with myself.
I’d like to get my own face out of my phone sometimes but need to work harder on actually doing it.
I believe that it will be one of my goals for 2015.
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I agree Melissa, it’s hard to find that balance & I can empathize with your situation. At least you are trying to be mindful of it.
Let’s make that a goal for both of us in 2015. We can encourage each other!
Good stuff, Jen! ** 😀 I must be on a permanent fast since I do not have any of the social medias! 😉 BUT I do so enjoy checking out fun blogs & researching things, so it would be great to have a computer fast. One time, our computer was on the blitz for a few days and it was truly lovely to not be on it throughout the day for this or that! 😀
You know what they say Cathie, sometimes less is more! You have a lot going on in your household that you are not missing out on in. I’m glad that we’ve stayed in touch over the years in our own way. 🙂
Me too! 😀