Do you ever want to rip out the cable, smash the Wi-fi router, delete all your social media apps, and throw your smartphone through the window?
Yes, exactly. Me, too.
The thing is, I never do. I always tell myself that it’s because I have a “brand” and an “online presence” so truly “unplugging” would be counterproductive to my business goals if not impossible in the first place.
So I keep the Facebook app. And the news streams. And the multiple over avenues of digital information being funneled straight into my hand and infecting my life so that the world seems LOUD and OVERBEARING when it’s just me sitting alone in bed with my laptop at midnight.
I’ve always had a problem worrying about what others think about me, and the digital age has only made that problem bigger while simultaneously isolating me even more from those who might be able to assuage my fears and help me move forward into a world where I don’t scrutinize my every action under the lens of “what will everyone think?” It’s not really comments from others or fearing the reactions to what I post (I got rather desensitized to that pretty early in my YouTube days). But it’s all the posts from others which continually dishearten me because of the overwhelming amount of negativity and misunderstanding. (For more on my need to reign in my empathetic nature when it comes to being online, see this video).
So sometimes I dream about taking a step back. Deleting the Facebook app from my phone. Blocking Twitter and other social sites from my browsers for a little while. Disabling some of my personal accounts altogether and only post (but not consume) from my business pages. These things have yet to happen.
Which is why vacation is always an interesting time for me. Despite the abundance of Wi-Fi availability these days, it’s not always free. And I’m not going to pay for internet access just so I can bum around on the internet depressing myself. Sometimes I’ve had free internet with my hotel stay, but other times (like my upcoming vacation to a cabin in the mountains) I’ll be without internet the whole time!
This time next week, I’ll have already spent several days “roughing” it without the modern conveniences of instant google searches and navigation. They’ll be no video streaming or Instagram scrolling. No online gameplay or searching through my cloud database of files.
I’ll only have what I brought with me: my journal, my camera, a tablet with a few downloaded movies, a nice thick book, and my painting and sketching supplies.
And there’s a great big part of me that feels so RELIEVED at this idea.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a bit nervous that I will have forgotten something. I won’t have scheduled a video or a blog. Or some “Internet Crisis” will happen and I’ll be completely oblivious.
But then, when I start thinking that way, I realize how little those things actually MATTER in the grand scheme of life. I suppose it’s sad that we have to take a step away from it all to see what’s actually important. The blue glow of the screens can fool you into seeing something that isn’t there.
See you on the other side!