I hit a little bit of a breaking point yesterday. Unfortunately, when I get stuck in a weather cycle that includes days of rain and thunderstorms I’ll inevitably develop a migraine and end up way more agitated over the smallest things than any human should be. That was yesterday for me. I skipped out on an event I had full intentions of going to, told everyone I was turning off my phone and hiding out until Monday.
I’m at the house, still in my PJs fresh from a long nap, uninterrupted by a house filled with bleeps and bloops. I spent the morning knitting and watching a couple of movies, dived into a book for a while, you know, the stuff introverty type people enjoy when they’ve finally hit their wall.
Silence is never an option in our lives, but it’s almost jarring when you notice just how often some bit of technology is making sounds and demanding your attention so often.
As much as I love technology’s ability to keep us all connected there are times I wish it wasn’t so simple. There are days that a text message notification makes me want to throw my phone across the room. It’s usually someone just typing the word “hi” as an opener to pry into the rest of my day, and at times that feels so intrusive it will make me angry. Then god forbid you don’t reply fast enough, there are people that insist on continuing the intrusion again by either texting again or calling with ‘is everything okay you didn’t answer?’ causing further annoyance. It’s probably just a quirky introvert issue, but it’s still an issue. It also is likely a failure on my part to place boundaries on the repeat offenders. I felt it a little sad that I had to announce on a certain social media page that I need a quiet day, and even then, that isn’t fully respected by some. I’ve picked up my phone twice today to see a handful of messages from people that obviously didn’t see or willfully ignored my request for a quiet day, and a few that were legitimately passing along info that I needed for the week that knew I wouldn’t be responding.
So yes, I’m bitching a bit, so on to other things.
An unplugged weekend may turn into a permanent affair. When I see that usage stats notification come through on my phone, my skin crawls and I feel utterly disappointed with myself. Despite feeling like I don’t waste a great deal of time dicking around on my phone, the actual numbers say otherwise. I waste 15-20 hours a week on a tiny screen that does nothing to improve my life. I should be wasting that time reading, crafting, sleeping (poking at a screen until the wee hours happens more than I like), learning something new, actually going out and doing something, on and on and on. I’ve also been struggling with feeling like the weekends are stolen by chores and errands. Maybe reclaiming some of those 15-20 hours a week and actually taking care of things would give me the weekends back.
I’m feeling a little nostalgic of my early adulthood years. I’m an Xennial, the Oregon Trail generation, that odd little age group that doesn’t quite fit Gen X or the Millennials. In fact, being called a millennial at times feels like an insult. I remember the dark ages before the internet and before everyone had a cell phone in their pocket. At 18 there was access to the internet, cell phones were finally getting to pocket sized, texting was an option for those of us that didn’t feel the need to get drawn into a phone conversation, and those were brief (T9 was a bitch), and social media wouldn’t begin to become a factor in our lives until 2003. I’m not going to lie, there’s been a few times today when I’ve fought the urge to check the social media networks to see what’s going on. It’s not a secret that I’ve felt social media holds too much real estate in our minds, and I’ve struggled with the idea of disconnecting from it entirely. I haven’t because I feel like there is actually risk that I would lose contact with people I care about because they are so entrenched, that contacting others outside FB, twitter, instagram and the myriad of others is no longer on their radar.
So if I feel forced to participate I can at least have better control of it. I’m going to experiment for a bit, beginning Friday nights after I get in for the evening I’ll log out of the whole mess until Monday morning. But that all comes down to one thing, do I have the self control to keep it up, or am I too sucked into this mess to do it on a routine basis. This is were it all wraps up today. I’m going to go cook a nice dinner, and go back to the book I’m reading. What do you guys think? Am I alone in feeling this way, or is this a problem for you too?