While the country seems nearly split in two and all across the world people are at odds, you can almost feel the tension in the air the moment you run into someone in the grocery store. Stepping on toes seems more likely now than ever before,and where social media was once used to give reprieve from the real world it is now a place to avoid if you want to avoid stress altogether. Comment sections and timelines are littered with people who think they they know everything about things that they have never experienced; political tirades are in large supply, fraudulent photoshopped pictures that are captioned with lies such as “Being myself!” or “LOL caught off guard!”, while being anything but flood your feed. Even fitness pages now showcase incredible store-bought bodies in attempt to pass them off as real and earned via exercise.
It’s all so much. Too much. And if you’re anything like me, there have been times where you have, finally, after hours upon hours, looked up from your cell phone screen or computer screen only to say to yourself “Wow, I’ve really been online ALL day.” Talk about overload.
Recently, I unplugged from the internet for a few days and was able to tell a clear difference in the way you my spirit was uplifted. It was almost as if I had been underwater for a long period of time and was finally, just now able to breathe. Day one was the hardest, yes. But by day two, I had re-discovered my love for good books. Something I had completely forgotten about since I was a child. By day five, I felt my brain had almost expanded again. Like oxygen was suddenly flowing once more… and even more than that, I rediscovered, people.
Such an amazing feeling it was that I felt everyone should know this feeling. If it’s been a long time since you’ve gotten off the internet… if your thumb is bruised from scrolling for hours and hours and hours, maybe you should give it a rest. Go for a week. If that’s too long and you need it for work like I do, learn to limit yourself. Give yourself conscious unplugging hours where you look someone else in the eyes to have a conversation with them. Or even better, step outside of yourself. With recent natural disasters rocking not just our nation but the world, so many people are in need of help right now. The Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico which are absolutely under water are apart of the United States just as much as New Jersey and California. They are not just places to plan your next vacation. They are places where people live and are currently in desperate need of help and assistance. Find a way to give to them. Not because they are apart of the US but because they are human beings. Find a way to unplug. Give back. Love someone today. Read a book. Re-discover yourself.
“I need the internet for work though…” is no excuse. I do too. But I also need to refuel who I am as a person. And one simply can’t do that online.