December 24, 2012

Who needs Santa? I am here to deliver a huge gift to myself — and you. From now through Jan. 7th, I am shutting down my social media and pretty much getting off the Internet. The goal is to detox and return to you fresher and more relevant than ever.

For those of you who already live an unplugged life, this momentous decision will seem trivial. But my anxiety will probably be very real for those of you who also love blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and more. Social media has become such an integral part of my human interactions that I can’t imagine life without it.

During this experiment, I will still use the Internet in limited ways. Email will get checked twice a day, max. will remain my outlet for practicing yoga. And is a must for helping me shed the five pounds I’ve gained this fall.

Beyond that, the sky — rather than cyberspace — is the limit. Haha!

Seriously though, my great fear is being forgotten. I have worked so hard to build an audience on this blog and on social media. It’s not just about the traffic; these are real relationships with people who have inspired me and enriched my life. But if these connections are truly strong, I’ve gotta believe that they — you — will still be here when I return to blog again on Jan. 7th.

Here’s my strategy: From now until Jan. 1, I am basically on vacation (except for one day of work on Dec. 26th). On Jan. 2, I  return to the newsroom mission of chasing stories as a journalist. But I want to  go through this first week of work in 2013  without the added busy-ness of social media.

Who knows what will happen! The possibilities were recently presented to me by Hank Chen, a Twitter buddy who I’ve never actually met. But he read my Dec. 17 post, “Do you think it’s possible to unplug?”. In response, this is what he tweeted:

Hank, darling, thank you for the wonderful, wonderful gift. His link took me to a delightfully rambling, soul-searching post by a blogger named Adam Brault entitled, “I quit Twitter for a month and it completely changed my thinking about mostly everything.”

I loved how Brault described his daily Twitter interactions as hundreds of voices in his head that amounted to “outsourced schizophrenia.” That’s actually a spot-on description for dealing with Facebook and other social media forums too. :)

And here is Brault’s most powerful point:

I used to believe that time was the most important thing I have, but I’ve come to believe differently. The single most valuable resource I have is uninterrupted thought. 

Amen, brother!

So that takes us to the heart of why I’m unplugging. While I’m not sure that I will have an epiphany, I am positive about one thing: I will miss you.

In the meantime, if you need to reach me, I’m sure you’ll find a way to do that. And if you long for my twice-weekly posts, my archives are bursting with oldies-but-goodies.

Until we meet again, here’s a hug and my best wishes for a happy holiday season. It has been an absolutely brutal year filled with horrible headlines on every possible front. But with the loving support of those we hold close, we will prevail and change the world. Yes, I believe that.

Thank you for all that you have given me in 2012. Whether or not you commented on this blog, whether or not I know your name, you have still blessed my life. Your energy has given me courage. And we will go on together in 2013.

Happy holidays! xo

P.S. — Re the photo for this post… aren’t Rosebud’s antler ears ridiculous? And don’t I look exhausted?! xo


If you liked this post, check out what happened to me two weeks later! I blog about the results in 5 ways to unplug from electronics & social media & reconnect with your life.