Unplugging in a Cordless World

Much like Tobey Maguire’s career, it’s been awhile. I took a hiatus from writing and posting to enjoy a little perspective and personal time.  Those of us born in the final decade before the millennium might not actually know what that is, but there WAS a time when we didn’t update people on every step of our lives, every day. A time when your high school friends didn’t see what you were eating for dinner each night. A time when you didn’t see every outfit the toddler daughter of your coworker owns.  A time when you only knew your down-the-street neighbor was selling Mary Kay products because she called you on the…..(oh, wait for it)…land line.  We’ve become so accustomed to updating (and being updated) on every aspect of our friends and acquaintances lives, that we feel its absence when it’s gone.

For various reasons, I found it beneficial to skip out on social media for awhile. For one, there’s the obvious time wasting. Isn’t it SO easy to scroll away hours?! Second, there isn’t a lot of content you find while being on social media that makes your day significantly enhanced, or your brain particularly fuller. And last but not least, let’s talk about the comparative nature of it all. Sit back and think about the last time checking on a strangers followers, or deciding which of your sixty three photos from this weekend to post TRULY brought you joy? Did you set your phone down and think “Gosh, that felt so good for my mind, body, and spirit?” I’m speculating when I say it didn’t, but I feel if it did, every yoga studio in the nation would be out of business.

The counter argument is, of course, that these days we are far more in touch with family and friends, and that may be so.  Nothing is black and white; I’m a firm believer in the grey area.  But we don’t need to feel an obligation to keep everyone in the loop. It’s ok if you have been extremely busy at work and want your precious free moments to just relax.  You don’t have to constantly show everyone you live an exciting life, because at the end of the day, its all just tiny squares of everyone’s BEST moments, not a true representation of their life.  Think about the photos we took before we had digital film. Less weeknight dinners and mimosa toasting; more Christmases, birthdays, and embarrassing parents in 90’s clothes. Pictures mattered more, and so did their content.

I implore you to take a little time for yourself every now and then, and withdraw.  You don’t have to shut out the world, just spend those extra minutes on all the things you think you don’t have time for anymore. Reading a book, thumbing through vinyl records at Goodwill, or calling someone on the phone (landlines are mostly gone, but don’t worry, cell phones work almost exactly the same way!).  Take those moments of staring and comparing, and use them to actually make YOUR life better. You won’t be sorry. It was a nice break, but it’s good to be back. Cheers. (No cheers’ing Boomerang needed*)

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