Thursday, March 24, 2011

115 hours, not 127 hours but close enough

Can someone update my Facebook status to "HELP!"

On Tuesday, March 15 at 7:00 PM I decided I couldn't do it anymore.  After hours of toying with my emotions of whether I needed a break or if I could keep going, I quit.  I decided I need to unplug myself from the machine that is social media.  

"Why?" You may ask.  The simple question is I wanted to see if I could control my ritual which I'm sure an ongoing majority of Americans find themselves in. Wake up, and instead of turning on the TV check my Facebook and Twitter accounts to see if I missed anything of importance or received a new message, mention, or even poke. Then log back on throughout the day because of habit, plus the time it can waste being on social media sites. It's been a habitual situation I have found myself in for some time now and I know I'm not along.  

To expand further, it was also Spring Break and I was headed to KY for a few days and knew that besides a limited window of time, I would have no service in any of the locations of wilderness I was planning on inhabiting.  That itself made the transition of the break that much easier to cope with and gave me even less of an ability to "Check In."  

Moonshiner's arch behind my campsite, where you guessed it they use to make moonshine at

So how did it go?  Better then I expected. I didn't maim anyone, shake, or hallucinate from the lack of Twitter/Facebook. Even though I was tempted to look, given I had service on my phone on Friday (my big 28th bday) I stayed strong and weathered the storm (Let's face it everyone has to check their Facebook on their bday to see the wishes they receive!) and did not return online until 3:00 PM on Saturday, but only to post a short "Thank You" to all those who had wished me a happy birthday (I didn't want to seem like an ungrateful Facebook friend!).  Even then I actually had reluctance to log back in because I was enjoying the time away from Twitter and Facebook and the break from the overload of information that can happen when addicted to social media.  

Since Saturday I have fell back more into the old routine of checking, but at the same time not as much as previously.  To me, it seems once you have taken an extended break from using Facebook, Twitter, etc. not only do you remember how life was before revolving around friend requests, retweets, new followers, with the possibility of getting more done in the real world, appreciation can be made toward the positive benefits that social media enables users to have.  In my case throughout the ordeal it was not only to thank people who remembered me on my big day (you love me, you really love me) but to remember how it was social media itself (Facebook) that enabled me to coordinate with friends back home to organize my birthday party location for that Friday night (*coordination took place before my boycott) which I'm sure others have used the outlets for similar situations.  

Its easy to get lost on not only social media forums, but the internet in general (anyone who has used Wikipedia knows that), but at the same time it is what I think crucial for every once in a while take a break and enjoy what you have physically in front of you and though sounding cliche, "stop and smell the roses."  

1 comment:

  1. Belated happy birthday!

    Interesting post, we will read a similar article for Tuesday's class...

    I don't know, to me, the roses don't smell as sweet if I experience them on my own ;)

    That being said, you have a good point there. Information addiction is real, and something we should discuss in the "dark side" class.