Debbish’s digital detox

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 Permalink

If I talked about detoxing and this post appeared in my diet blog you’d know I was thinking about quitting sugar. Or carbs. Or alcohol. Or all three (though the alcohol may be a subset of the others… hmmm. Ouch, my head hurts!).

Anyhoo, it’s not about my eating or drinking habits, rather I’ve just had a bit of a detox from online stuff.

blogI didn’t avoid my computer completely over the past 4-5 days as I need to monitor my emails for… well, most definitely for important stuff. Plus I’m looking or a job, so seek.com is my friend.

As it happens I predominately avoided social media (Twitter and Facebook in my case) and refrained from doing any blogging during that time*.

It should have been easy – and it eventually was. Well, except that I cheated. Quite a lot.

I shut down my Twitter application on my desktop computer, so that was fine; but did allow myself the occasional check on my iPod (replacing my recently-drowned and dearly-departed iPhone).

In all honesty I monitored the Twitter feed as I watched a somewhat tedious awards show (The Logies) on Oz TV on Sunday night. Again, I wasn’t allowed to tweet, but chucked at others’ instead. (And was able to go to bed early when a national newspaper leaked the BIG WINNER – the Gold Logie – online!).

As Facebook is my desktop computer’s home page I also monitored the happenings of others, but wasn’t allowed to ‘share’ myself.

talkingIt was a strange sensation… not sharing. (I can hear my brother scoff from 400km away!)

Initially I constantly reached for my phone / iPod or mouse… eager to tell the world that I was about to have a bath, or read a book, or exercise. I longed to share some amazing insight or offer some glimpse into the workings of my mind. But couldn’t.

Naturally I got to the point when I swallowed ashamedly at the inanity of some of the crap I tweet or post. Gulp. Who really gives a fuck if I’m about to read a novel? Or if I’ve slept in? Or if I’m sick?

internetIn reality I know that no one actually cares or needs to know this stuff, but I suspect some of it is a result of living alone. I share my thoughts or actions online instead of telling the person next to me that I need a nanna nap within one hour of waking. It also occurs to me I use social media as my own little confessional booth. No hail marys come my way but I usually have someone tweeting in agreement or ‘liking’ in understanding.

I know to some I might be constantly online but it’s really more hit and miss for me. I’ve talked before about binge-tweeting. I log on and look at stuff and then get off. In fact, I often go offline most evenings to enjoy a far more intellectual evening in front of the TV. (And no that is not sarcasm Sheldon!**)

I eventually got used to not over sharing, but did miss the online engagement. I realise social media is predominantly how I communicate with some friends – in lieu of telephoning, emailing or SMSing.

Today I declared my detox over, for the same reason I started it. Which is: just cos…

So while I will continue to engage with others, and perhaps try to do more of it online; I will, however, try to share less of the pointless and fewer self-indulgent confessions.

Are you addicted to social media? Have you tried detoxing?

*   Blogging detox was undertaken in the hope I’d write something else. #fail
** Apologies if you’re not a Big Bang Theory fan and don’t get the reference.
(Although who ARE you and why are you reading my blog?!)

12 Comments
  • Eleise
    April 9, 2013

    I regularly turn off computers and pads for the weekend and when we are on holidays we don’t do technology. Maybe just have rules on internet usage.

    • Debbish
      April 10, 2013

      Hi Eleise, if I have a writing deadline I do often turn off the internet (though it becomes problematic if researching!). In reality the time I spend on social media isn’t too bad, but it’s the time I spend pfaffing about online – sometimes just opening and reopening pages for no reason!!! Although I am endeavouring to cut back on my updates.

      Deb

  • Yvette @ Little Bento Blog
    April 9, 2013

    get off social media?? don’t be silly!! Actually my husband hates it – off the computer but still on my phone…

    So I have made a point between 3-6pm no social media no computer no phone. Just me, my little ones and the husband!

    • Debbish
      April 10, 2013

      That’s a great idea Yvette! I live alone but kinda do that at night. I don’t like doing stuff while I’m watching TV (other than eating and drinking, but that’s a whole other post!!!) so am only online for stuff like the Logies or when Puberty Blues is on, cos I like following the Twitter stream and giggling over everyone’s memories of the 70s and 80s!!! Otherwise I’m offline most nights though do check emails and FB and Twitter before bed!

  • Salz
    April 10, 2013

    I’m so addicted to the internet in general. Everything about the internet I just can’t get enough off. I try on the weekends to stay off twitter and facebook but i still have a read and only sometimes tweet.

    • Debbish
      April 10, 2013

      Hi Salz, yes you would have seen that’s basically what I did over the last few days. I kept reading stuff.

      Blog reading actually takes me a lot of time. I’ve tried to cull the number of blogs I follow (120+ at last count) or only read 2-3 posts by each blogger a week but struggle. I also said to Eleise, I stuff about a lot online as well. I rely on it for my news, TV guide and the like.

      Thanks for dropping by!

  • iSophie
    April 11, 2013

    That would have been a very interesting detox. And at least you are aware of the time you spend, most people aren’t, or care.

    No I don’t think I am addicted. I really cant stand twitter and the only time I use it is when my posts and pics automatically cross-post to twitter. Facebook is good to keep up with friends and bloggers, but I definitely do not over share, and it is usually just photos.

    I have digital detoxs all the time really, because the 4 boys keep me too busy, I cant even blog like id like to. Plus 9 year old is always on my laptop!
    #teamIBOT

    • Debbish
      April 12, 2013

      A-ha! A forced digital detox! Sounds like it provides you with that all-imortant moderation!

      Am also impressed at the lack of over-sharing!

  • EssentiallyJess
    April 11, 2013

    Good on you! I did a day once and that was actually really hard. It’s amazing all the things that you feel you need to share. i also find on the days when Boatman is out, I’m more inclined to tweet, so I think living alone definitely has something to do with it.

    • Debbish
      April 12, 2013

      It’s like having someone to talk to I guess.

      I worry that I really don’t engage enough on Twitter any more. There are (were?!) a heap of people I was ‘friendly’ with who were just Twitter friends. Now that I get minimal 3G access in my apartment I’m really only online when I’m at my desk. So hit and miss!

  • Neen
    April 11, 2013

    I often have a digital detox. Some times I just get sick of everyone on facebook, instagram, etc and momentarily lose interest in their lives. After a week or so though, I miss my peeps and have to log back in!

    • Debbish
      April 12, 2013

      Yes, I get that. The good thing about those media is that you can tune some people out (or hide them). There are certain people I’ve hidden cos they over-posted or just drove me insane, but mostly I’m lazy and it’s the perfect way to keep in touch.

I'd love to hear your thoughts