Wednesday, August 31, 2011

life lessons: social media sobriety

I think that many of us have experienced "internet guilt" at some point in our lives. You know, that hour you wasted stalking people on facebook when you should have been working? Those tipsy tweets you sent out while carousing with friends? The past few months, I have realized that I take time away from legitimate pursuits in order to assuage my self-inflicted boredom with social media. I even started tweeting/facebooking at stop lights, for christsake! That can't be healthy behavior.

Photo on 2011-08-25 at 10.47

When Corban and I visited friends in California a few weeks ago, I made the conscious decision to turn off the iPhone and completely disengage from social media. It. Felt. Awesome.

(I was so in the moment that I even considered putting away the camera, but I just couldn't bring myself not to document all those fabulous moments.)

Since being back, I have only used facebook, twitter, and google plus to communicate with people directly, which has drastically reduced the amount of time I spend waiting to be entertained. This month I've started working towards a teacher certification and a masters degree; I feel that I am so much more focused on these endeavors than I ever could have been if I were popping over to twitter every five minutes.

Is it the American instant gratification mentality that causes us to become so addicted to social media? I must admit that in the past three weeks of being internet "sober," I have experienced withdraws. When I am stumped on a problem or unengaged for a moment, I immediately feel "bored" and I have to resist the urge to check out what's happening on facebook. Upon hearing that the new Rachel Zoe season is starting soon (I DIE!), I had to keep my self from tweeting about it.

Am I so afraid of having a silent moment by myself that I immediately assume that I am bored and in need of entertainment? Or, do I feel that the world will forget about me if I don't constantly remind it of my existence?

Probably a bit of both.

My goal for myself is to really focus on all the things I want to accomplish this year and not let my instant gratification sensibilities scare me away from hard work. I want to relish this time in my life, truly enjoy learning new things, and feel proud of myself for working hard to have all the things I want in life.

How about you guys? Do you feel that constant connection to social media loosens our connection to real life?



  1. I felt a huge weight lifted when I dumped Google Reader last year.
    Which I why I'm a month late seeing this.
    I'm not sure I could dump Twitter FB and G+ just yet though. I feel they are useful for communication and entertainment more than GR was.

  2. I still have my FB, but use it MUCH less frequently than I used was my habit to check it first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and many times in between, but now I just get on to check on specific people. It's amazing how big a time drain it can be.