It’s 2013, so the internet is definitely a thing.
I’m connected to the internet seven days a week. Yes, I have this daily blog project, which keeps me connected, but as a freelancer, I often work all weekend, and of course, social media keeps me on the internet all the time, too.
But I have a love-hate thing with the internet, as I’m sure many people do. And there’s definitely such a thing as too much internet.
On one hand, when you start shouting at your Facebook, you’ve probably had too much internet.
But also, when you break down into a full-on anxiety attack, you’ve probably had too much internet.
Seven days a week of work emails from three different jobs delivered to both my computer and my phone is overwhelming. But then add in a bunch of horrific news stories unfolding in real time. Then add in texts from friends. And regular life stress.
I had a full-on, hyperventilating, scream-crying meltdown last week. I was having a shitty day and then the Boston marathon bombing happened and I lost it.
I make the active decision to not read the news daily. Yes, this sometimes means I’m less informed than I should be, but I’ve found it’s one way to stay sane. When I read and/or watch the news, I take every bit of sadness to heart. I let everything that is wrong with the world gather up on my shoulders and all around me until I feel like I’m in a room with the walls closing in on me and I can’t breathe. It makes me feel helpless. It makes me feel sad. It makes me feel angry. It makes me cry. It makes me lose my mind a little bit.
So when everything went down in Boston and the news was flowing through my Twitter and on live news streams, and I was worrying about people I know there, and then everyone started drawing attention to all of the other places in the world where people are dying every day, it was just too much for me.
It was then that I realized there’s been too much internet/connectedness in my life as of late.
So I took a full day off yesterday for a mini road trip. I spent a total of 6.5 hours driving, clearing my mind, and singing at the top of my lungs, and I had some amazing BFF time in between. I ignored all of the emails I got. I didn’t text. And I didn’t check my social media.
And it was incredible.
Obviously, the lesson I learned was that I need to do that more often. So I’ve set myself a goal and I’m making it public. I’m going to do my best to take one day off a week. A day without emails, a ton of texts, news, and social media.
And of course, it won’t be perfect, because some weeks I won’t have a choice, and I do have a 365-day blogging project, but I’ve decided I’ll be satisfied with a post and check-in in the morning, and then the remainder of the day off, just like yesterday.
(My dogs are gonna be thrilled on the days my lap isn’t covered by a computer. They’re already Pavlovian-style trained to get excited at the sound of my laptop lid closing.)
How do you deal with being over-connected?
Do you have internet-induced panic attacks, or am I the only crazy one?
Isn’t that dog .gif at the beginning of this post ridiculous and adorable?