I have always struggled with procrastination. When I was in college, I watched TV day and night when I should have been studying. After some self-examination, I eventually ditched the TV all together and bought a fish tank. I found this fish tank fascinating and calming, and it didn’t have the same pull as my TV. More importantly, buying a fish tank was a line in the sand, a way to set limits and to take drastic action in a different direction.
It’s time for another fish tank, metaphorically speaking.
When Social Media Isn’t Social Anymore
Another important reason for buying the fish tank was because I became fed up with myself. I spent inordinate amounts of time watching other people live wonderful lives on TV while I sat on a couch… watching. I became frustrated by my inertia and the limitations I placed upon myself. Ditching the TV for a fish tank was a huge step in regaining control of my time and the quality of my life.
I’m fed up again.
I spend too much time on Social Media. In addition to my personal FB page, I have four additional FB pages/groups that I have started for various things. So I voluntarity committed myself to a total of five FB pages/groups (and I have a full time job, too). I am pretty passionate about my hobbies and these pages reflect something I’m excited about. Not surprisingly, these interests have morphed into obligations, which pull on my time and energy.
Enter the election. I follow politics closely and check news stories multiple times a day. At this point, I feel the need to disengage from the headlines, news stories and especially the comment sections on Social Media. There is so much negativity out there, and it’s contagious.
All of this time and energy lost in the land of Social Media has created bad habits. How many times a day do I check my phone/computer? I don’t want to try to count. It’s too depressing. It’s like I’m back on my couch watching everyone else live their lives again. Let’s just say that my Social Media habits are time-consuming and have become a tool for distraction and procrastination. Again. Do you see a pattern here? I do.
There’s Good and Bad in Everything
Social Media is not bad. In fact, I really like Facebook (in theory). It has allowed me to connect with friends and family in a way that wouldn’t be possible without FB due to time and distance. I have met family that I didn’t even know that I had! I love that aspect. And I really enjoy sharing travel ideas and experiences with folks from the RV community.
There are downsides to Facebook, too. I find electronic connections superficial, despite the ability to “connect” all day, every day. Facebook posts become a substitute for real human contact, which is needed to maintain quality relationships. Eventually, we become a modern version of pen pals, but without the long letters. Instead, it’s a blurb here. A photo there.
We drift farther from each other and create increasingly insular lives. We update our FB statuses instead of actually talking to one another about what’s happening in our world. We respond to our friend’s posts with icons, or with the word “hugs” when we should be hugging someone in person, or expressing our concern in a heartfelt way. Ever scroll through the comments when someone posts that a loved one has passed away?
My RV Travel Blog is an excellent way to connect with like-minded people and document our travels. But it has become a labor of love and yet another thing that pulls me into the Internet/Social Media vortex.
So, I have decided to take some time away from my blog. It may be temporary, it may be permanent. I’m just not sure at this point. I haven’t contributed much to my blog over the past year, but knowing it’s out there is a distraction. I plan to keep on traveling, and I am freeing myself of the obligation to maintain the blog online.
Several companies offer blog-to-book conversion products. I’ve written over 50 articles and taken lovely photos during our travels that will make a treasured journal. I look forward to seeing it in print!
Fishing for Happy
At this time, I don’t anticipate leaving Social Media all together. However, I am taking steps to detangle myself from bad habits. After transferring my blog and my extensive photo library to a book format, I am removing personal photos from my FB page. I have grown weary of the whole “oversharing” thing, and I want to separate FB from something I really enjoy – photography. I will also delete the app from my phone. I will keep Messenger if you want to chat with me.
Balance is a good thing. It’s time to refocus and free up time and energy for things that make me happy.
Gone Fishin’, my friends.