As my summer is approaching its end (seriously, I go back to school in two weeks), I thought I’d share what I learned from my social media break.
I’m happier when I’m productive. I already knew this, but I needed reminding just how much this really affects me. In the six weeks or so while I was (mostly) away from social media, I managed to get so much done around the house. I cleaned closets and the oven, scrubbed tile, organized. Surprisingly, these things made me happy. I’m strange, I know. But there is just something about being able to see progress. As a teacher and writer, the pay-off is often years down the road. A small seed planted will grow, but damn it takes a long time. But scrubbing tile shows results immediately. I like that instant gratification. Thirty minutes organizing my closet made me feel a lot better than thirty minutes refreshing my feed.
I also managed to do a quick revision on my newest project. Now that my CPs have had their way with it, I’ll buckle down and do a major overhaul. I’m looking forward to it. The quick revision would have taken a lot longer had I been procrastinating on my phone.
I missed chatting with Twitter. I was definitely disconnected from current events, as I rarely turn the tv on in the summer and almost always get my news from Twitter. This was great in that, for the first time in a while, I was in a good head space. I found I’m less anxious when I’m not on social media all the time. I love the conversations and varied voices on Twitter, but sometimes it is just sensory overload, especially for someone who teaches school all day. I’m always dealing with current events, chatting about them with students, playing devil’s advocate. It’s hard to do that all day and then see that all evening without becoming extremely anxious.
I’m glad to have crawled out of the cave. I hope to do a better job at balancing online and offline time. I want to take what I learned this summer and keep it going without having to cut myself off completely.
I know what I need to live life well: running, writing, measurable progress, silence and solitude, breezes and sunshine. I need time to think without outside voices crowding my head. But I also need collaboration and stimulation. I need to be challenged and aware. I need balance. I want to be present.
Above all, I want to create. But I’m not going to lie: I really miss Candy Crush.