Just over a week ago, I had a bit of a meltdown – I reached the limit of social media stimulation that I could handle. So – after a lot of thought – I posted the following on Facebook:
“So, I’ve been considering something for the past week, and I’ve finally decided to just do it.
Social media can be an overwhelming thing: on the best of days, you have information and opinion flying at you from many directions… so much of it is either completely uninformed, ignorant, and/or … histrionic.
As a writer and publisher, I’m expected to keep up on social media. We’re given all these messages about how we have to participate, evolve, engage… and as a result, spend a LOT of time on Twitter, Facebook, etc. As someone who works at home, social media IS my workplace. Myself, my cats, and the social media landscape – that’s my office environment.
With everything going on lately – Mayan apocalypse nonsense, shooting, histrionics about gun control, fiscal cliffs… it’s just too much. Everyone shouting at each other – if this was an in-person office environment, it would be seen as completely dysfunctional and toxic. No one would get much done, and stress would be through the roof.
… and my stress IS through the roof. I can feel my lifespan shortening with every passing week of nonstop information overload. I need a break. Blame the Aspergers, blame me just being human, I don’t know – this goes way beyond overstimulation.
SO – January 1st, I am adopting the healthiest new years resolution I’ve ever tried, and I’m going to disconnect from the lot of it. I’m taking a break from Facebook and from Twitter, for at least a month. Who knows, maybe a bit more?
The idea scares me a bit (I’m a creature of routine, and will likely get twitchy at first!), but also excites me. I had a life before social media, we were all able to function beforehand, right? I used to hike! I used to read – I can’t even remember the last time I read a book, but it’s definitely in the “years” at this point. I am going to read every damn book that Robin Cook and James Patterson have put out in the time that I haven’t had time to read!
I’ve started working towards this social media break – setting up the blog to auto post to the Celebration Generation page, until such time as I am relaxed enough to brave Facebook. I’ll blog, and I’ll check emails – probably twice a day.
I think this will be good! I need my sanity more than I need to lose weight, but hey – maybe tuning out for a bit will help THAT goal, also!
Anyway, I wanted to give you guys a heads’ up. I promise I WILL be back at some point, hopefully refreshed and less cranky and jaded. Until that time, I would be more than willing to take questions through email, as we did way back in the day! 🙂
I can feel the stress lifting a bit already, just finishing up this announcement. Yay, mental vacation!”
10 days later – 10 days of decreasing my exposure to social media – and I’m not feeling nervous about this anymore. If anything, I’m kind of excited to take on this little adventure. The way that the internet has become SUCH a major part of everyday living? I mean.. going without for a while will probably be the modern day equivalent to those times we visited pioneer villages as children.
… I may even break out the Yellow Pages if I need to look something up!
Since posting this rant, I purchased a few new-to-me paperbacks, a set of pastels, and a set of sketching charcoals – I’m going to teach myself some art. They’ve been sitting there, staring at me, as I go about my business… beckoning me to drop my stressed ways, and just draw. I haven’t so much as removed the plastic from the box, looking forward to this as part of my mental vacation – it feels special now!
So, I’ve preloaded the blog with a bunch of amazing recipes to auto post, and I am checking out of social media at midnight tonight. Who knows how long I can hold out for? I hear that it takes 18 days to form a habit, so I’m looking at that as a minimum goal. Maybe if I can make it 18 days, I can learn to dial back on my exposure, and get some balance back in life, you know?
Have a great New Years Eve, and a wonderful start to the new year! I look forward to a much more relaxed version of myself returning to social media eventually!