This year, I made a list of goals I’d like to accomplish. None of them are too crazy or elaborate because I wanted to choose to do things that are attainable and realistic. There’s really nothing more discouraging than setting yourself up to fail. One of the items on this list (number four) was arguably one of the items I was more worried about…Shockingly it was right up there with my number one task of getting into graduate school.
When I decided to take a week off from social media, I included a lot of general media, too. No TV, no media driven magazines, no video games, and of course, no social stuff (Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Instagram, Goodreads, etc.); if it was social related, it was not allowed. Prior to my start date, I started getting anxiety about it. Some people would probably say that this means I have a problem, but I do not think that is the case. I think I was getting anxiety because that is what happens when you try something, that’s what happens when you force change upon yourself. Based of the parameters I set up for myself, I didn’t make it the seven days. On one of the days, this past Tuesday, I became incredibly ill. I definitely will not go into details about this because it’s really gross, but I called out of work and laid in bed for a good 24 hour period. Anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I do not call out of work unless I think I am dying. I thought was dying, so I watched TV. This is a big deal to me. Normally, as people, when we are sick, we let everyone and their mother know that we are sick and we can’t go on and we wait for messages from people telling us to feel better. During this time, I did not go on any social site. Instead, I laid in bed and watched terrible movies on the LMN channel (I still don’t know what this stands for) and fell in and out of sleep until I felt better. My cheating this way isn’t terrible, because I don’t sit in front of the TV all the time, but I still felt like I had failed slightly.
Other than being really sick, I did accomplish quite a bit:
- Downloaded Pixelmator & absolutely loved it instantly
- Took care of some rental items (really, really long story, but absolutely needed to be done.)
- Hung out with my awesome mini monster (aka my niece)
- Read Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
- Almost finished Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
- All kinds of other things that I didn’t write down…
Here’s the thing though: I have been told, either in classes or by people I know, that I am so focused on the outside world, that I’m not in tune with what’s going on around me. This could be possible, or it could be something people say to me when they are pissed off at me. I admit that there are times when I am out with people and I check twitter or whatever more than they would probably like, I understand that it could be an issue and if it were ever brought to my attention I would stop. However, during this week, I haven’t felt more in touch with anything – not even myself.
I think ultimately, I had far less interaction with people. On top of that, while I did accomplish things, none of them were things I wouldn’t have accomplished anyway. Sure, when I’m doing things I check the social sites, but it’s a very casual task. One that’s very easily done among other tasks. I felt like I lost more than I gained in this week. It wasn’t even just my social media friends that I had less interaction with, either. Social media is how I acquire knowledge about everyday news, sports, general ongoings. I literally had no idea what was going on in the world. This makes it harder to hold conversations – especially with people you don’t know. Networking really works best when you can hold a conversation about random things, even if your knowledge is limited. Instead of having limited knowledge, I felt like I had zero about current events.
All in all, I’m glad I took a week off. It helped me realize that I prefer the social side of things to an extent. I like being able to turn the world on and off at my leisure. I like knowing that when I don’t want to be bombarded with news, events, and chatter I can simply log off and turn away. I think without this week off, I might have thought I was addicted, but I now know that I am not. People who think I am, probably just don’t understand how other use it. I’m not saying you shouldn’t try it though…who knows if you have a problem 😉
Here’s to a new year…and 12 more goals to accomplish.