Lately, I feel as though I’m going slightly mad.
I read everything that catches my attention.
It all adds to the noise in my brain.
When there’s a pause in my day I fill it by scrolling through social media feeds.
I fill my time with reading about how to create space.
I distract myself by reading articles about how we’re all so easily distracted.
I accumulate books and articles about getting rid of things.
I think about leaving my phone behind.
But I worry that I’m going to miss out.
I think about leaving twitter.
And then something I say gets a lot of attention.
(But is one viral tweet going to change the way the media demonises overweight disabled people who rely on benefits?
Is the chance of another one enough to keep me hooked on a twitter feed that makes me feel constantly anxious?)
With every blog I read, I feel I need to overhaul this one.
What am I trying to say? What am I trying to do? What is my USP? What is my personal brand?
I need to get attention online.
And then I need to DO SOMETHING with it.
Some weekends, I have enough of a social life lined up that I barely spend any time online. And it feels… calm. Like I’ve taken a deep breath. The noise in my brain quietens a little. The anxiety recedes.
It only takes a day to reset. So what would happen if I avoided internet noise for longer?
This is a question I’ve been asking myself for a while. Since I started questioning what social media does for me. Since I left facebook and felt better about my life. But now it’s becoming less and less easy to ignore.
And I keep reading things that talk about the benefits of going social-media free, without even looking for them. It almost feels like the universe is trying to tell me something…
So I’m taking a break.
It won’t be a complete break, because I manage the social media for the organisation I work for. But it will be a heavily restricted diet, which I’ll continue for as long as it takes to get clearer on what I want to use the internet for. (I’m guessing it’s not actually “constant distraction from my work and my thoughts.”)
I’ve taken feedly, instagram, email and my personal twitter account off my phone.
I’ve removed my personal twitter account from Tweetdeck, so I’ll only be able to see work-related tweets.
I won’t be reading blogs and articles outside of work. In fact, the only content I’ll be consuming is fiction.
What will I be doing?
I’m planning to spend the next few weeks going through my physical possessions to eliminate anything that I’m only keeping out of guilt or obligation. I’ll also be going to the gym, and making use of the remaining light evenings to go for runs and walks along the Thames footpath.
I plan to arrange offline get-togethers to connect with friends (if you are one of these people: text messages or phone calls are going to be the best ways of getting in touch.)
I’m hoping to finally work my way through the novels that have been sitting on my Amazon wishlist for a while. I’m also hoping that my next steps will come to me once I’ve made some space.
See you on the other side!