In case you haven’t noticed I’ve been MIA on the social network scene for a while. And I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.
What I learnt while on this self inflicted ban is that Facebook, twitter, what’sapp, we chat and emails are sometimes a major hindrance to living in the real world and that I place too much importance on what’s happening in cyberspace instead of what’s happening around me in the real world.
Years and years ago I did Johnny Clegg’s PR and I spent a lot of time with him. I remember him telling me that every day for two hours he switches his cell phone off. He would go to gym, read, relax, veg out and just have ‘him’ time. At the time I thought what a techno peasant! Who would choose to disconnect when there’s so much happening around them. But lately I’ve realised that’s exactly the problem. There’s too much happening around me. Us. It’s information overload. All the time.
It’s reading tweets from people living the perfect ‘social platform life’. It’s statuses showing perfect families and perfect worlds. And when your life’s not feeling all that perfect it gets a little overwhelming. A little claustrophobic. A little yuck!
So I chose not to buy a data bundle for my phone. I couldn’t go on twitter or Facebook. I couldn’t scroll through Pinterest because I was ‘bored’. I couldn’t download emails and then panic because I hadn’t responded to someone. The only time I ‘connected’ would be if I was on my laptop and even then I gave myself a time limit.
And in all honesty it’s the best thing I’ve done for myself in a long time. A subconscious stress lifted. One I didn’t even realise was there. For a week I didn’t feel the urge to respond to a tweet or weigh in on someone else’s argument. I didn’t feel as though my life was less than because of someone else’s portrayed one.
Because I had no access to any of these platforms I spent more time WITH Emma and Ben. I wasn’t only physically there, I was completely there. I wasn’t tweeting about our moments together because I was living them. Loving them.
So moving forward every now and then you might get a ‘please call me’ or a refreshing silence because I haven’t bought airtime or data bundles.