Unplugging in the Digital Age

I never really knew how much I depended on social media, until today. Holy cow. We (well at least not me) don’t think about it, but we really rely on our phones; constantly in our hands, scrolling up and down various timelines in moments of boredom, or perhaps not, but we always have them, always.

And that’s why I decided to unplug.

Every social media site (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, even good ol’ LinkedIn), deactivated for at least a month (until August 11, 2016) and I am truly hoping that after this 30 day purge I have no desire to engage anymore.

At work, I guiltily find myself tweeting, posting and interacting between meetings, phone calls and emails. It’s like I can’t put it down.The phone is always face up, in reach no further than an arms distance away – Devin that is just sad!

So today, I’m in my office and found that I’ve gotten so much done, because I’m not looking down every five minutes at my timeline, and moreover I’m really engaged in my work – I’m thinking more deeply and in depth about everything that I am doing. I know it sounds dramatic, but it’s really true. It’s not even 1pm and I’ve about finished my agenda for the day.

Don’t get me wrong, I am literally itching to be in “the know”, but that’s the problem, isn’t it? We feel the need to always be connected, always be a part of the conversation, always share what we have going on or what we are thinking, always. It’s a part of our culture. We are a generation of contributors; constantly adding to the digital space in some form or another. Which is awesome, I mean think about how many more perspectives and ideas were able to share and take part in now that more and more of us can connect, but it’s also important to disconnect.

A few months ago I wrote a blog post regarding the difference between our actual selves and our  online selves; simply alluding to the fact that we share what we want people to know, we all do (Yes, even you!). We share our peaks rather than our pits, we share our triumphs rather than losses, we share our love stories as opposed to our heartbreaks – all because we want to be seen as the best possible versions of ourselves. Yet, the issue comes when our actual selves and our online selves contradict. My online self was not an accurate representation of who I was or moreover who I wanted to be perceived as. Online Devin didn’t represent who I really am.

And that’s the reason I REALLY decided to unplug. 

It was a facade, a fake, a phony representation of me, was I lying? No of course not, but was acting as though life was nothing but sunshine and rainbows without grief? Yes. The “perfect” online Devin became such a burden to carry that it starting seeping into my personal life, causing me to distance myself and judge others before I got to know them.

So, enough was enough and I was done. I’m not perfect, most days aren’t that great, and I don’t fart glitter. The jig is up!

I’m looking forward to some time being unplugged and really enjoying getting to know Devin again.

As always,

A less connected, Devin J.

 

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