So I read recently about the value of unplugging, of disengaging with the social media world – Facebook, email, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc. There are numerous reports on how stressed out we’re becoming because we’re connected and “available” 24 hours a day.
So Baratunde Thurston, the feature in the article, decided to unplug for 25 days. He didn’t go anywhere, he just unplugged and stayed at home. If friends or family wanted to get a hold of him, they’d need to do things the old-fashioned way: call him. Texts were even allowed, I believe.
What hit me in this was that the very definition of what “social” media is has actually done some damage in my personal life to those I love the most. I was (or am) becoming less social to them because I was more social with others.
So I’m unplugging. Starting Sunday, July 14th. Not for 25 days. Just for 7 days. I’m actually really looking forward to it. I’ve made it clear on all social avenues (work email, personal email, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google, and Instagram) that I’m unplugged and won’t be responding to any correspondence. And I link to this letter to explain why.
As I thought about this, the question of photo-sharing came to mind. I love to share photos of people I love and places I love. I like the sharing community. But the article linked above actually addressed that. It said the people who you care most about, and who you truly want to see the photos, should be able to physically see them on your phone’s screen. This struct me as powerful because I had lost the idea of what “social” even meant … I was defining it in a virtual sense rather than a physical sense, thinking that if I wasn’t sharing on social media, I wasn’t being social at all.
I’m not anti-social media. I think it’s pretty cool. I think it’s changing the world, mostly for good. I’m just ready for a little break and see how I can fine tune my true, old-fashioned social skills. Till next time, Jack.