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!