hitting pause.

note: this was written back in the fall, in the middle of me taking a week-long break from social media. it’s something i’m considering making a quarterly habit. 

so i took a break from social media. here’s why, and what i learned.

the why: it wasn’t fun anymore. it’s compulsive, it’s habitual, and it’s contributing to my brain feeling pulled in eight directions at all times. and it sounds bizarre, but when shit gets tangled in my life, i numb out via the internet and with twitter and facebook there’s always more. every second. and i think it became unhealthy, the way i just tune out to a screen when i can’t deal with my world or my head. and when i’m in that place, i don’t really see anyone or anything in a positive light even things that are perfectly innocuous. all in all, not good. i went into this wanting to quiet my lizard brain and see if it changed the way i feel overall.

some results:

a) i’m more productive. who’s surprised? without the constant distraction or siren call of the twitter, i do the shit i need to get done.

b) i’m calmer. without comparing my life constantly to what everyone else is doing and how that makes me feel, i process my own feelings much better.

c) it’s surprisingly not that hard. i removed my personal streams from hootsuite, i made a secondary Facebook to manage my work stuff, i removed the apps from my phone screens. i miss knowing what friends are doing or saying, but i’m in touch with those that matter most anyway via other channels.

d) i’m better at communicating with friends. i have the time and mental space to send an email or text, so i do.

e) i’m more present. i, in general, have a difficult time feeling integrated with the physical world around me. i spend a lot of time in my head and i usually feel kind of separated from, well, pretty much everything. while that hasn’t changed, this has forced me to confront that, as i don’t have the veil to hide behind.

f) i’m reading! and writing! i have more time, it feels like. i’m probably saving a few hours every day and i’m doing other things with that time, and that feels good.

i know some of you have also taken breaks from the internet – tell me what you learned.

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