Can You Disconnect?

Our writers at All Things E live, breathe, and if we could we would eat social media (I bet Twitter tastes like chicken). Yet Danielle’s post last week reminded me how hard it can be disconnect. Yet I actually enjoy taking sometime away being plugged into the mainframe of the internet. I reflect on the peace I found during my four months in India where letter writing was my main form of communication and I hand wrote every piece of work. It allowed me to engage with the world in a very different way.

Oh don’t get me wrong I love social media but there are times when I staring at my screen late at night or checking my phone during a lull in conversation when I wonder if it might be interfering in my life a bit more then I want. There are times when I fall down a Facebook rabbit hole or spend an hour watching hilarious Cookie Monster antics on YouTube that I wonder if it might be good just to shut social media off for a bit. That’s why I love my friend Paige’s Academic Challenge. For her “Writing for New Media” class at James Madison University (JMU) she challenges her students to spend a week without accessing your favorite websites during work. She used a social media blocker app to stop her from going on Reddit and Facebook during work hours. Her video is a funny look at her progress during the week and the challenges she encounters on the way.

My biggest concern is the sense of connection I would use. Facebook and Twitter is my doorway to connect with many of my friends, make plans, and get to know people better. While it does provide distraction it also provides new opportunities to interact. I’d be interested in doing the social media challenge just to see, do the benefits outweigh the cost? What do you think would happen if you could turn off social media? Would you find yourself more productive? Would you find yourself less connected? Would you find other distractions? Perhaps you should take the challenge and find out.

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