break from the plug
I’ve never been a big TV watcher. “News” in the morning during my computer time and a late night Jimmy Fallon or Chelsea Handler 30 minutes (because they crack me up) and admittedly, Monday nights with The Bachelor/The Bachelorette (AKA: wine and catch up time with gal pals) have been part of my typical routine when I’m staying at a home and not in my car over the past couple of years. Other than those few shows- having the television on makes my skin crawl, especially since the beginning of July when I spent a dreamy week in the Adirondacks with no TV, internet, or cell service. (That week put me over the edge of a lot of things, and in more need of silence than ever before.) I’ve always preferred face to face time rather than Face-book time, being unplugged rather than all plugged up and in, and I’ll send an actual piece of paper thank you mail over a thank you email any day of the week. (If the US Postal Service ever decides they’re just too obsolete, my little blue lollipop heart might break in two.)
I was the last of my friends to get a cell phone back in the day, I never had a MySpace account, and I didn’t even have a Facebook page until long after most everyone else. For someone who does what I do, for how much I love people and being social, and for how incredible I think social media platforms are for business and initial connections we wouldn’t normally have access to- they all drive me pretty nuts.
While I had the “news” (quotes because I’m not sure it should be allowed to be called news) on this morning during my after run-French press coffee-organize to-do list for the day-routine, a story came on: How much is too much with social media? Are we so busy “capturing the moment” on our iPhones, iPads, and other to be present and actually live in those moments?
The story ended with with the point that It’s as if we’re all living our lives behind screens. (Yuck.) Hence the inspiration for this post.
I’ve been guilty of the every second photo. (All who dined out with me a couple years ago when I was completely obsessed with writing about every last thing I ate, and you got to the point you’d just roll your eyes and say “Geez Di! Can we just eat already?!- as I staged my mini photo shoots, I owe you big time for putting up with me.) I’ve also been guilty of the every day social media post, and the wait-just-a-minute I have to check in here, or announce that there. The constant push push push. Necessary to get the word out at times- but how annoying!
So why would I bite the hand that “feeds me” as I use those many resources to keep putting BLR on the map and pushing to have my voice heard? Well, I’m not exactly biting as much as regulating, as I encourage myself as well as others to chill out and take a break from every second electronics, dude.
How do I practice being less annoying to myself and others in a best attempt to live a real in the moment life rather than an online life? I run every morning in silence and let myself think about anything I want to. I drive without music and let myself daydream about everything that’s possible, and I write a lot of letters. I’ve written 7 Thank You/Happy Birthday/Here’s a note just because I love you and think you are awesome cards already today and I wrote 3 yesterday. These things are like my regulation therapy, and completely necessary to check myself because falling off the healthy bandwagon is all too easy- even for the most disciplined of us.
I would challenge anyone out there today, to turn off the boob tube (as my cute Grandpa calls it) for a few minutes, put the Twitter feed, Vine, Facebook, Pinterest board, Instagram away for 5 minutes and write a letter to someone you’re thankful for. Go for a walk, or a run, or a drive in quiet. Call your Grandma or your sister and tell her you love her. Ultimately we will be much more fondly remembered for that personal time or personal touch- rather than incessantly posting “selfies” or sharing about what we just ate for lunch.
Now, stepping away from the computer…
#OperationCharlotte #WriteALetter #GoUnplugged.