Unplug Yourself

Courtesy of Google ImagesDespite the ability to stay connected to the world around us all the time, it sometimes seems that we are more disconnected than ever.

In my home there is a desktop, a laptop, a smartphone and a PS3. All of these are connected to the internet 24/7. If I am at home, odds are my laptop is on and TweetDeck and Trillian are running in the background while I check my email and Facebook simultaneously and watch something on Netflix via my PS3 while keeping an ear open for my phone to ring or denote I have a text message.

A few months ago it dawned on me that I was posting far too many status updates on Facebook. No one really needed (and probably no one cared) to know the mundane details of my life. With nearly 200 friends (after scaling back a year ago from nearly 500), I realize I probably only regularly communicate with less than 20.

So why do I still have 167 friends on Facebook? Why do I follow 206 people on Twitter?

Because social media is changing the way we communicate, and as someone who hopes to work in the field of communication I need to stay up-to-date with social media trends.

Right?

Social media has so much great potential. It’s too bad that more often than not, it serves to feed our growing egos. I am just as guilty as the next person when it comes to posting utterly ridiculous status updates.

But I’m learning quickly that to be taken seriously the constant updates on every minor thing I am doing need to stop.

I may be connected to the world 24/7, but I am not connected to myself.

With so many ways to stay connected to family, friends and colleagues, I sometimes forget to take time for myself.

I’ve definitely been cutting back on my Facebook time, and the less time I spend on Facebook, the more I realize that it doesn’t bother me. Everyone is pretty much posting the same useless crap that I was anyway.

Next, I need to teach myself that it’s OK to disconnect TweetDeck during the day and that it’s OK to miss out on Tweets. For now, I’ve turned off the TweetDeck chirping sound and the alerts that pop up in the corner of my screen. I’m also beginning to turn off TweetDeck  when I know I am at my computer to focus (either on homework or writing).

And therein lies the key.

Removing the distractions so that one can focus on more important tasks.

I want to be a better writer. To do that, I need to write. Everyday. In order to focus on writing everyday, I need to remove the distractions that keep be from writing. TweetDeck. Facebook. Trillian. My phone.

It’s a bit difficult to make these changes this week while I have finals, but beginning Thursday (after my last final), I’m going to disconnect myself from the world for at least one hour every day to write.

It doesn’t necessarily even need to be writing to meet my Story a Day goal (which by the way, I have not been updating. I’m blaming finals, but really it’s my lack of motivation/inspiration). I just need to get into the habit of writing everyday.

If I am to become as serious about writing as I want to become, I need to begin dedicating time to myself and my chosen craft everyday.

So if you are a writer, I ask this, what tactics do you employ to ensure you get some writing time in each day?

If you want to write, I encourage this, disconnect from the world and write. You may feel you are writing crap, but consider this, you will not improve a craft if you do not practice daily. Your writing will not improve if you do not write everyday.

To everyone, writer or no, I still encourage you to disconnect from the world at least for a little bit everyday and take some time for yourself.

When you’re connected to the world 24/7, what time is left for you to connect with yourself?

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4 responses

  1. I love this post. Fer serials. This is actually something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, and I’ve been sort of trying to disconnect during the day from Twitter, even though I still answer my email (on my phone, no less). I probably get more writing time than most people, but it also takes my focus away from the important things in my life, like schoolwork and such that has a deadline.

    You should come hang with us more, and we’ll infect you with the WRITE ALL THE TIME bug like we have. 🙂 Then you’ll be wondering how to scale back the writing so you can enjoy your life and get your schoolwork done like me.

    May 10, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    • I’m hoping that once this semester is behind me (Thursday), I can devote more time to not only writing but to hanging out with more writers to get into that, “I am a writer. I NEED to write.” mentality. I enjoy Twitter (and to a lesser extent, Facebook), but I do recognize that I need to step away from it during the day and try to focus more on the things that are important to me, like wanting to write more and even wanting to knit more.

      But yes, definitely want to hang out more once finals are through.

      May 10, 2010 at 10:16 pm

  2. Jen

    Great blog post you writer, you! I believe in you…Maybe you guys shourld convert crafty day to writey day! Disconnecting is definitely a good thing. Sometimes I have to remind myself that people used to get along just fine without 10 electronic transmitting devices surrounding them

    May 10, 2010 at 10:37 pm

  3. Cid

    See Jen, we already have a monthly writer’s meeting, and then there are a few of us that get together for writer date nights and yet another group that just meets for critiques. My goal for the next craft day is to actually CRAFT, lol.

    Finding time is really difficult sometimes. Personally I know it’s not as hard for me to find the time as it is for someone who has a husband, children, or nearby family. My time is my own and I can decide what I’m going to do with it. I think I usually write during my lunch break at work, because by then I’ve gone over twelve hours without writing a creative word. And then at home. Sometimes it’s really hard to turn off the tv or step away from chat converstaions, etc. I’m a very connected person; I know that the 70ish people I follow on Twitter don’t all care about me, but I’m geared to care about them. I hate not being connected to people, but I also must write.

    At the beginning of the year I took on Inky Girl’s write 1K a day, and though I don’t always succeed, it’s making the habit of writing daily in me. Story a Day is only giving me more of that kick in my pants to follow through with it – because we’re all doing it. You, Linda, Alicia, Derek, all of you guys doing it makes me think: omg, I must do this! Do I feel like it every day? Nope. Jumping boat and the Cat drinks milk were two I did that I did not feel like doing.

    While I have my social media sort of in hand, my biggest time suck is blogs. I actually just wrote a blog about it so I won’t ramble, but I’m stepping back from my blog reading. Okay, I’m done rambline!

    May 11, 2010 at 8:21 am

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