Thursday, August 30, 2012

That Time I Went A Whole Day Without the Internet

Last night, my students and I had the greatest conversation about the Internet.

We were on the subject of social media and almost the entire class was in agreement that social media has enriched their lives in some way. One woman found her husband online, another handful of students said that social media is the only reason they've kept in touch with family and friends, several others said that it's opened up fantastic career opportunities, etc.  

But like all conversations about the Internet...things quickly went in another direction. Suddenly we were talking about Dateline's To Catch a Predator and telling horror stories about Facebook. We started talking about people who have been fired from their jobs based on things that were written online. We shared our fears about our children and what they can do online now. A student also informed me about the millions of websites that teach people how to make bombs.

Scary freaking shit.

And then anther student, one of my adult learners, said that what disturbs her most are all of these people who are sitting around blogging about their lives instead of actually LIVING them. Now...this student has no idea that I blog. I obviously don't share that information (for good reason) but I felt like she was speaking right to me. Like those words were for me and me alone.

I felt guilty.

Early that morning, when Addie saw me checking Facebook on my phone, she rolled her eyes at me.

SERIOUSLY!! She rolled her eyes at me. The same way Eric does when he sees me on my phone. And I know I'm on it too much. I always try to defend myself by reminding him that I run a business online. That I manage a class website and communicate with my students online. That I manage our finances online. Blah blah blah.

And even though all of that is true...I know I am guilty of wasting time too. I don't need to check in on Facebook and Twitter every damn hour. I don't need to sit and pin recipes while my kids eat lunch. I don't need to sacrifice a peaceful evening with my husband to make freaking holiday printables.

I don't need to ANY of that.

Some days I do it because it brings me joy. I like to brag about my kids and post cute pictures. I like to read other's people's blogs and get inspired. I like to browse Pinterest and feel productive when I've planned next week's menu. I like start Facebook fitness groups and check in every day to cheer people on. The Internet does bring me a lot of joy. Which is why I will never give it up for good.

BUT...what this student said last night really struck a cord with me. I realize I don't have to give up all these things I love to do online, but I do need to find balance. I need to learn to put down my phone, shut of the computer, and remember that no one cares if I didn't post a status update or blog all day. The world will still go on.

So that's what I did today. I left my phone in the other room, I shut my computer down for the first time in weeks and just hung out with my kiddies. We ran errands, played outside, packed up our camper, took a little scooter ride, cleaned the house, did some coloring...and I didn't take one Instagram photo or post one update about the day (even though I wanted to show everyone Addie's latest drawing).

And strangely enough...I didn't really miss it! It actually felt kind a nice to step away from it all. The blog. The shop. Facebook. Twitter. All of it. I accomplished so much today and I just felt like my head was in a better place.

But then 10:00 came and since my house is clean, my workout is done and everyone is asleep...I figured it wouldn't hurt to hop online now. Right?

Right :-)

Clearly I've learned nothing today. Haha!

8 comments:

  1. I think it's a good lesson that we should all learn. Being back in school has helped my Internet addiction. :) It wouldn't be wise for me to check Facebook during ninth grade English! Haha

    On the other hand, I have met some new friends, tried new recipes, learned how to digital scrapbook, and saved countless hours by shopping online......didn't save money, but saved hours! :) Like you said, it's all in moderation. Good for you for doing it for a day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brooke, I sometimes forget that you teach English as well!!! It's not like you haven't mentioned it a thousand times before. I think Internet is making stupid. Hahaha!! And yes...saving money online is the way to go girlfriend :-)

      Delete
  2. SUPER true! Facebook is probably the biggest offender of getting my stress level up and cluttering my day. Mostly because facebook is just a gigantic brag book or a place for people to complain (I'm guilty, too!!!). I recently read an article that showed evidence that facebook is turning us all into insufferable braggers. :) I think the fact that sites like unbaby.me exist shows that people are definitely feeling overstimulated by the amount of information people are sharing these days. Similar sites could exist for just about anything - pictures of food at fancy restaurants, super fabulous vacations, pets, etc. I find that when I'm on facebook too much - I instantly get stressed out because it often elicits that "keeping up with the joneses" feeling. It is a great way to keep in touch with people and it is fun to let people know what's going on in our lives. That being said...definitely moderation. I constantly have to remind myself that people really don't care about my animals, vacations, political beliefs, food, etc. as much as I do and I really try to think before I post. Kind of like the rule of thumb before you speak - "Is it necessary, is it kind, is it true?" If we shouldn't say things that don't fall into those categories...we probably shouldn't facebook them either. [OH - and I will probably post pictures from my vacation this weekend...so...I guess I haven't learned anything either!!!]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so with you Jenn. Facebook = Stress for me. My blog I can handle. I write my posts, have great conversations with friends who comment, and it's done. But Facebook is so in your face every day that it's only a matter of time before someone says something to annoy you, upset you, offend you, etc. And it's really all so silly in the end. I think the key is definitely moderation, and I think EVERYONE on social media needs to follow the rules of "Is it necessary, is it kind, is it true?" This is why I love you Jenn :-)

      Delete
  3. This is a great post! I've thought about this topic a lot, especially when I feel too connected. I am in marketing/advertising and totally understand the value of social media and push it at work, but at home, I have yet to get into Twitter (I promise myself I will), though Facebook is another story. While I'm not a frequent poster, I do like to "like" and comment on cute pictures or posts that my family and friends have shared. Blogging is totally different though. I enjoy it. I like being able to look back at what we've been doing and I like being about to write things that I'm thinking about. When I start thinking things like "I need to take 5,467 pictures to get one good one for the blog," I know it's gone too far!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I completely agree, Anna. I love being able to look back at stories and pictures. That's why I keep blogging and contributing to my Facebook page because I love sharing that stuff. But there are times I take it too far and spend WAY too much time online. But I guess if we can all realize that in ourselves, we can be smarter with moderation. At least some days. Haha!!

      Delete
  4. That is my absolute favorite part of going out of the country. No one can get ahold of me, except for a select few and since my cell doesn't work you don't have worry about answering it or anything. Plus you its nice to get away from technology for a little while. This next trip I will have my ipad, but I am only using it to skype family and close friends (hope you have skype ;))

    ReplyDelete
  5. Enjoy reading your blog, it is beautiful!

    ReplyDelete