January 7, 2013
My goal for the past two weeks was to unplug from social media. But the break from Facebook, Twitter and blogging turned into something bigger. I’m now reorganizing my life for 2013.
Since I was off from work during most of this experiment, I really had a chance to turn off the devices and recharge my personal energy. For the first few days, I peeked at Facebook and Twitter. Then, it didn’t matter anymore. Instead, I found myself catching up with family and a few friends, face-to-face. What a novelty!
One change led to another. Now, I feel much more connected to myself and those around me.
Unplugging electronic devices is just the beginning. During this adventure, I removed the following from my bedroom: a printer, a TV, a landline telephone. With the gadgets gone, I suddenly noticed the prominent display I was giving to my checkbook and files on the book shelf. I moved them into a closet drawer. Then I filled the shelf with pretty, pleasant things to look at: my paintings, some woven baskets, family photos and candles.
Get rid of clutter. How about unplugging from guilt and pressure? My night table was piled high with old New Yorker magazines that I kept meaning to read. (They were right next to the iPhone charger, which has since been removed too.) I read some of the back issues and recycled the rest. There was no reason to keep art pencils and drawing pads on the bedroom chair if I’m not using them. So they are also g-o-n-e , put away in storage.
Only check email twice daily. It’s one thing to constantly scroll through email at work, because that’s part of my job. But today was my day off and I spent my first few hours of replugging by scanning email. All it did was make me edgy. New priority: limit email usage as much as possible.
Give up social media addictions. Until I unplugged, I woke up every morning and grabbed for my iPhone in the dark to play Words With Friends, a delightful iPhone app that is like sort of like Scrabble. But with it turned off past two weeks, I’ve been sleeping more and, more soundly. Then today, I had lunch at a restaurant with a buddy. When our entrees arrived, I reached for my phone to take a photo of the food, to post it on Instagram. But taking the shot just felt wrong, it completely cut into our conversation. No more.
The next few weeks will be about figuring out how to make the most of reconnecting on Facebook, Twitter, etc. As part of this, I’ve decided to blog only once a week, instead of two; I’d like to see if that makes for stronger posts and a stronger relationship with you. Does that sound okay?
I will have more to share with you soon. Right now, I am setting aside time to read the Tim Ferriss bestseller, “The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich.” The book came out in 2007 and it’s a hard-core self-help guide to re-thinking work, dreams and money. I’m only up to Chapter 3, but the material is very, very interesting. Will share more in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, I just want to wish you all a very, very Happy New Year. May 2013 bless you with good health, good times and much love. And see you here next Monday. xoxoxoxo.
P.S. — This is what it was like in my house these past two weeks. A lot of chillin’ around the fire of our wood-burning stove in the living room. :)
If you liked this post, you might be interested in my Dec. 24, 2012 post, Why I’m unplugging for the next two weeks. It explains how I got to the moment we have here, two weeks later. :)