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My 48 Hours Without Social Media – Anyone Can Do It!

Jennifer Connolly recently attempted the unthinkable – she unplugged from social media for 48 hours! Read more from Jennifer on her blog.

My 48 Hours Without Social Media - Anyone Can Do It!

Last week my husband and I took a short trip to Lake Tahoe for some down-time and much-needed relaxation.  Since we drove, I packed all the food we would need, into a cooler. I didn’t want to leave the cabin other than to walk in the fresh air or sit under the trees on the back deck.  I thought that would be enough to relax me.

 

Of course my phone and iPad came along for the ride.  I brought several books including Arianna Huffington’s latest book, Thrive.

 

The book encourages us to focus on our mental and emotional well-being, health, and practice slow-living.  Self care as a measure of success, rather than how much prestige and money we have. She focuses on the importance of meditation, sleep, mindfulness, and our society’s need to unplug from too much social media. Hmm….

I enjoy social media but I’m somewhat of an Instagram lover addict.  I started snapping pics with my phone the minute we got to the cabin so I could share on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I finally set my iPad to play classical music, settled down to read and came to this:

“And by so-obsessively documenting our experiences, we never truly have them.”
                                                   ~Sherry Turkle, MIT professor and author of  Alone Together 

 

Pause…what was I doing?

I decided to unplug, cold turkey for 24 hours! I actually used my iPad to snap a visual of me powering off my phone…which I proceeded to share! That borders on crazy in my book!

The first day was surprisingly easy.  I got a lot of reading done and went for a long walk.  By the evening,  I didn’t miss it at all.  It was wonderful!

As the 24-hour mark rolled around, I felt no desire to plug back in. The second day was more relaxing than the first! Nearing the 48 hour mark, I felt slightly panicked at the thought of all those emails, texts and updates I knew would be waiting for me the moment I fired things back up.

I really didn’t want to plug back in. But I turned things back on around 4:30 and almost immediately posted “dinner” to Instagram.

Traveling by car

The relaxation changed, once my phone was back on.  Even though I was still in a pristine cabin surrounded by gorgeous nature, I saw things differently. I saw things and wanted to share, not just enjoy.

In 2012, Harvard researchers found that sharing information about ourselves activates the same part of the brain associated with the pleasure we experience from eating food, receiving money and having sex.

 

The number of “No Distraction” tools and apps to help us stay focused is amazing and disturbing.

  • Anti-Social – a social network-blocking software that allows you to avoid distracting sites.
  • Nanny  – Chrome extension that blocks distracting sites from your browser.
  • Self Control – Can keep your computer off-line for preset blocks of time.
  • Rescuetime – presents you a readout tracking your online activity at the end of the day.
  • Freedom – completely blocks the internet from your computer for a set time.
  • Time Out – reminds you to take a 10 minute break every 50 minutes.
 I’m now trying to find a healthy balance between totally wired and totally unplugged and finding it harder than I expected.

 

This book got mixed reviews, but I enjoyed it and obviously discovered something very interesting about myself.

 

How wired in are you?

 

Have you tried unplugging for more than 24 hours?

 

Jennifer Connolly

Jennifer Connolly celebrates the unique experience of women over 50. As a Certified Image Consultant and Personal Stylist, she empowers women to develop their image, personal style and self confidence. Her blog, A Well Styled Life, gives women the tools to appreciate their beauty and fully embrace the joys of midlife. Jennifer is a blogger, writer, wife, mom, grandmother. Pro-aging troublemaker, searching for the perfect foundation shade since 1973. Instagram: awellstyledlife

Jennifer Connolly

Jennifer Connolly celebrates the unique experience of women over 50. As a Certified Image Consultant and Personal Stylist, she empowers women to develop their image, personal style and self confidence. Her blog, A Well Styled Life, gives women the tools to appreciate their beauty and fully embrace the joys of midlife. Jennifer is a blogger, writer, wife, mom, grandmother. Pro-aging troublemaker, searching for the perfect foundation shade since 1973. Instagram: awellstyledlife

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