A. Catherine Noon here, continuing our Valentine’s Day party. Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve been completely discombobulated with all the chaos going on in our national news here in the States. It’s been tough, for example, to write about Valentine’s Day – much less to want to celebrate it with my own valentine.
Now that just won’t do!
So I go to thinking, what to do about it?
And it hit me: I need a social media blackout. I’ve been doing them periodically over the last couple months, usually for a day or two, and recently for an entire week while I was on vacation. I need to take my own medicine again, and do it more. So here’s what I do, when I’m feeling overwhelmed by the inflow:
- Take Facebook off your phone entirely
- If it’s still on your phone, go into your settings and turn off notifications. That can work as a stopgap if you’re not ready to put down the bottle entirely.
- Realize this is an addiction, and go one day at a time.
- Set a timer to put limits on your social media time.
- Know where you’re vulnerable. For example, I can’t handle videos auto-loaded, because by the time I realize that I’m watching something upsetting, it’s already going. So go into FB settings and turn off video autoload. Make sure you do that on Twitter, too.
- Set up office hours. For example, only look at Facebook from x to y on weeknights. One author I know has a rule that she doesn’t go online until after her day’s word count goal is met. If that’s by ten o’clock in the morning, then yippee, she can fart around for the rest of the day. If, on the other hand, it’s not until seven in the evening, then there you go.
- Set up your bottom lines. If you have trouble going to bed on time, then start by turning off the internet an hour before your target bedtime. Whatever your guidelines are, make them and stick to them.
What about you, Dear Reader? What are your favorite ways to unplug?
– E.E. Cummings
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