Some years ago I decided that when I have occasion to be away from home overnight (or longer), I don’t advertise it by posting on social media. At the time it was mostly a security decision: let’s not tell the world that our house sits empty.
Over time, though, it had less to do with security and more with unplugging.
Lucky me, I have enjoyed two recent vacations. First, a few nights in Puerto Vallarta to celebrate our 25th anniversary; and then a week in Pacific Grove, our annual trip with my mom and nephew.
Despite my international plan, in PV my phone decided not to work as a phone. I didn’t mind. It was my clock and my camera and that’s it. In PG I checked email, but kept myself off social media, even as a looky-loo.
I don’t typically think of myself as media addicted, but on vacation I saw the signs: the habit of clicking on the too-familiar icons, the ‘boredom’ of withdrawal. But I also saw the benefits. I was more present to the moment. I had more time to exercise, read, and play.
Home again, I’m back to posting both personally and professionally. And that’s that, because once you post, you want to see who reacts to your posts. And since you’re there, you might as well keep scrolling, and then you see something you want to share… Etcetera, etcetera.
For two short bursts, I lived well without my media addiction. Like coffee, I don’t think this addiction is all bad, but it has consequences. I’m newly aware that I might need to limit myself to the online equivalent of two cups a day–or less.