December 3, 2013

7 Real-Life Tips: Getting a Smartphone Made Me Want to Stop Blogging.

Warning: naughty language ahead! 

Or so I thought.

In actuality, though, it turns out that I was craving a break from social media.

You see, I’ve had my phone for less than a month, and I’m already equal parts enthused and overwhelmed that apps for social media sites that I use, such as Facebook and Twitter, are instantly available to me.

Of course, as a blogger, I’m mainly in heaven—I love that I can easily read messages on my Facebook author page, and in practically the flick of a pointer finger.

On the other hand, there’s the reality that disengaging from these types of sites becomes nearly impossible if you just want to, I don’t know, use your phone the old-fashioned way, you know, for phone calls.

Before you write in to me with suggestions, consider that more than seeking answers, I’m offering up that many of us don’t even think about this constantly turned on state that we inhabit. (After all, how long have you had your own smartphone? I’d wager to say that many reading have had one for much longer than a couple of weeks.)

Quite probably, you’re used to texting and messaging on Facebook while sitting in your car or waiting for an appointment, but I’m not, and, let me tell you, it is overwhelming—you just might not realize it if you’ve become so accustomed to it.

Did you watch this?

It’s pathetically true. We’ve become a culture of instant gratification—it’s difficult to wait only half an hour to find out what your latest email said, much less wait an entire day. (I know, right?)

And I’m not that old, but I am old enough to remember B.E. (gasp!—Before Email).

Yep, I learned on a DOS computer (and my high school typing class was done on an actual typewriter—although it was electric).

And here’s the thing: I blog not because I looooove social media, but because I love people—the real actual thing, in real life.

Writing and then sharing it with you has become one of the best ways that I know to walk my personal talk—which is that sharing and opening up and communicating honest thoughts, feelings and ideas rather than closing up, growing old and crotchety (as if the two had to be synonymous) and ultimately promoting this sad culture of phone-staring zombies. Yet my brand spankin’ new Smartphone almost threatened to turn me into what I’m trying so hard to avoid and, more, what I work (and write) so obsessively to overcome.

In short, I love blogging but I don’t always love that it ties me to the internet, and there isn’t a clear-cut way around this, no matter how I wish there was.

So here’s what I plan to do:

1. Put down my fucking phone and vow to not look at it every five seconds (see previously mentioned link).

2. Watch my daughter giggle at the Christmas tree ornaments that resemble characters she recognizes.

3. Be in awe of the sparkly, shiny lights that abound this time of year (again, like my daughter).

4. Continue to write—in my favorite paper-lined notebook. 

5. Remember that sharing my authenticity with you (in the hopes that you will, in turn, share with me and the world at large) has to regularly involve actual interpersonal connections that don’t involve a screen and/or emoticons and typed words.

6. Breathe. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat—often.

7. Get on my yoga mat and work that shit out.

Because that’s the other thing: we are still breathing, living animals.

We need exercise—sheer, simple movement.

We need so much more than can be offered via online access. (Although, trust me, I know that it can be fun.)

So, yeah, I don’t think I will take a break from blogging; not right now while I have so much to say—and hear in return—at least. But I will do this: re-read what I just finished writing, possibly make a few changes, hit “submit” and then take a shower and spend time with my real-life co-stars.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get ready for a date with my husband.


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Editor: Catherine Monkman

{Photo: Someecards.}


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