I am a social media professional.
What is a Social Media Sabbath
A sabbath is a day/period of rest. A social media sabbath is a day/period of rest from any or all social media.
Why I take a Social Media Sabbath
Last month I was watching a video on YouTube by ItsMyRayeRaye where she mentioned that she sometimes physically logs off of Instagram for a brain break and to regroup. I’d been doing something similar with Facebook for some time, so after hearing her say this I decided to intentionally take a break from some social media platforms on a regular basis for similar reasons.
Soon thereafter I read the book The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere by Pico Iyer that inspired me to prioritize and create empty space in my life to breathe, rest and think. In a TED Talk of the same name Iyer says:
“one of my biggest surprises as a traveler has been to find that often it’s exactly the people who have most enabled us to get anywhere who are intent on going nowhere. In other words, precisely those beings who have created the technologies that override so many of the limits of old, are the ones wisest about the need for limits, even when it comes to technology.”
He then went on to introduce the concept of an Internet Sabbath:
“I have another friend in Silicon Valley who is really one of the most eloquent spokesmen for the latest technologies, and in fact was one of the founders of Wired magazine, Kevin Kelly. And Kevin wrote his last book on fresh technologies without a smartphone or a laptop or a TV in his home. And like many in Silicon Valley, he tries really hard to observe what they call an Internet sabbath, whereby for 24 or 48 hours every week they go completely offline in order to gather the sense of direction and proportion they’ll need when they go online again. ”
I agree with every word. Logging off for a while helps me feel recharged and clearer of thought and mind when I return to my social media.
So when & how do I take my Social Media Sabbath?
This may … will change, but as of right now:
- Every Friday morning I log off of Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest & Google+ on both mobile and desktop. Unless necessary (for something work related) I remain offline on these platforms until Monday morning (although this week I didn’t log back onto Facebook until Tuesday).
- Every weekend I limit my use of the Facebook Page Manager app (seperate app from Facebook used to manage my Glamazini Facebook page and other pages I manage) and YouTube. Full disclosure I’m failing at the YouTube part but this is my intention.
- Every Sunday I stay offline (barring posting to my church’s Facebook page or work) and spend the day with my husband and son. Some weeks this happens to the best of my ability on Saturday as well.
- Just today, I turned off my push notifications on mobile after hearing Evelyn From The Internets curse them in a recent video. I don’t forget to check anyway, no need for the anxiety causing packed notification bar full of icons. None.
And that, my friends, is how I take a rest from social media.
I have to admit this was not an easy thing to do at first, but it got easier the longer I did it. Sometimes I forget, especially if I don’t intentionally log off and just mindlessly go online to kill time. To remedy this I put a recurring task on my phone #irony reminding me to log off, otherwise I forget. I now find myself looking forward to logging off and thinking of other things I can do with the time.
So far I’ve used the extra time to:
- hang out with my family
- clear out the clutter in my home
- clean up
- watch movies
- sit on my deck
Usually when I log back on I find I’m fresher and haven’t missed as much as I thought I would have (although this week I was 2 days behind in finding out about the earthquake in Nepal). What I have found is, just like they could 5 years ago, if the person needs me … and they matter … they are able to contact me without using social media. This fits in perfectly with the transition I mentioned in my recent post about living with less, this is just less digital stuff.
Do you ever take a break from social media?