Monday, April 15, 2013

Giving Up (But Not Completely) Social Networks.

I have a confession to make. I have not been online much in the past two weeks (and especially last week) because I've felt burnt out on social networks. After my lunch date with my good friend (and one time guest blogger), Andrew, as well as a random road trip around L.A. with Joe two weeks ago, I was reminded of how much I prefer to live offline. Sounds a bit weird but let me explain what I mean.

Since my freelance writing work has me online most of the day (doing research and writing), I spend a ridiculous amount of time online. We're talking from the time I wake up at 4:30 a.m. until the time I go to sleep (anywhere between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.) I spend (or was spending, I should say) a good portion of that time on social networks since it was the only way I would get some socializing in. It became a monotonous routine that left me feeling burnt out a couple of months ago. The fact that my mother told me that I needed to get out of the house (since I have been working from home since late last summer) pretty much told me everything I needed to know. I am now healthier than I was a few months ago. Freelance writing is slowing down (it dries up every couple of months) and I don't expect to be doing it for much longer now that I've decided to change careers. If my friends want to contact me, they know they can get a hold of me through my phone, whether via text or a call. Basically, I'm learning to live my life offline again... and it's surprisingly easier than I was anticipating.

I was expecting to have a hard time prying myself off of Twitter and Facebook. I did have a hard time at first. I had to log myself out on the browser so any time I clicked on the bookmarks, it would come up with the main page, asking me to log in. I have pretty good restraint (years of practice; my parents thought me to distinguish between wants and needs) so it didn't take long for me to break that habit. I've also been busying myself with reading and doing research on grad schools, which helps with the perpetual boredom I feel as a freelance writer. I've found myself wanting to spend more time reading and working on my own novel than I have wasting time online.

Pope Francis recently said that we should reject gossip (which, let's face it, we do and read a lot of on social networks) and it got me thinking about how I spend my time online. I came to the conclusion that, aside from a couple of really good conversations with good friends, a lot of what I personally post is worthless. Do you guys really need to know how many times a day I swoon over Gilbert Blythe? Do you really need to what I'm eating? No, not really. I also see a lot of things that make me unhappy. Lots of arguments. Lots of criticisms. A lot of miscommunication. A lot of my own stress comes from these and more things that have their root in miscommunication and clashing personalities online.

When I put these things into consideration, and added the fact that once I start grad school I'll have even less time to chat online since my focus will be on that, it made sense for me to drastically cut my time on social networks. Sure, I'll still tweet but it won't be as much (or, hopefully, as pointless) as before. I'm going to try to go back to using emails and snail mail as my preferred methods of keeping in touch (never been much of a phone person) when I am busy. Also, the less I tweet and "status update" on Twitter and Facebook, the more I'll have to blog about. Five years of Twitter and nine years of Facebook (been around since it was called The Facebook and only college/university students could join) will do that to a person. ;)

So, you see, I'm giving up social networks, but not completely. I'll still be around and I definitely plan to blog more often since I'll have more to share (the more I tweet, the less I have to blog). I have big plans and I would love continuing to share that with my readers, but I'm going to be doing it on this blog and not so much on social networks. :)

Anyway, I just wanted to let y'all know that. I know a couple of you notice when I don't tweet as much so this was a sort of explanation for y'all. I'm writing this on Sunday night (scheduled to post on Monday) but my mind won't change. It's something I've been wanting to do for a while now (hence my April Fool's Day joke).

I hope you all had a great weekend and have a great week. Don't know when I'll post again but I don't think I'm going to wait 9 days like I did this time around. ;)

As always, thanks for reading and God bless. :D

1 comment:

Luke Stager said...

Just recently started getting into twitter and discovered this blog by following anything related to Catholicism. Haven't read much here yet, but I sympathize with your ideas on social networking, but unlike you, I sometimes have a difficult time tearing myself away from facebook, reddit, and now twitter and engaging with the real world around me more often. Thanks for the inspiration. Good luck and God bless.