Balance: Taking a Break From Social Media During the Holidays

3 years ago

It is the third day since I deleted Facebook, Twitter and Instagram from my mobile devices. It's been three days since I lost myself on my endless feed of news (good and bad) from my friends on Facebook. 

My wife and I were inspired by my friend Lauren (aka Queerie Bradshaw), who took off the entire month of November from Social Media.... well.. everything actually. She took a month completely offline. I wanted to do baby steps, so for the next two weeks, it's a Social Networking blackhole for me.  

I feel a change starting with me. First, without my morning dose of Facebook, I am not thinking about the latest crap a celebrity has said (or a Facebook friend for that matter). I'm not thinking about the next photo I need to post, or the tweet that I have to share with the world. 

Instead, it has been really nice having real conversations with my wife, friends and family. However, despite the fact that we have taken ourselves off of social media, obviously, they haven't. We have been tagged during brunch and have also had photos make their way onto the internet as well. Life online hasn't stopped because we have.  I respect those choices for others, but realize how much of these types of actions have ruled my life for the past couple of years.  Not everything needs a status, a post, a tweet. I don't have to share my life with the world. . .every moment of every day.  

I have noticed even in only three days that I feel like I have been more present in conversations. It also helped me notice how distracting it is when you are speaking to someone who is also looking at their phone at the same time.  Multitasking is a myth. You can't keep your entire attention to me when looking at your phone. I get it M. I get it. (This has been a constant source of struggle with my wife and I). 

The one incident that really flipped me out last night was when we went to dinner. We sat at a local resturant for my brother's birthday and while him and my wife were getting drinks, I noticed a family sitting behind us. The mother was on her iPad, aimlessly flipping through Facebook. Her daughter was watching a show on her iPad Mini and the father was texting or something else on his iPhone.  I couldn't believe it. This was their Saturday night? Really?  I think what scared me the most was that was exactly what M and I have done for many nights in our own home.  

I don't want this for my life. I don't want to live, one foot in the online world and the other offline.  I'm looking forward to continuing this journey for the next two weeks. 



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