Reasons to unplug

This article is one of these lists about something I should do. Let’s take a look. It’s about health reasons why one should unplug, not a big issue for me, but I’ll comment anyway:

  1. Zaps Focus And Productivity: Might apply if I had anything else I had to do, like a day job, but social media is hardly costing me any focus (my surfing is an addiction, but voluntary). If social media does zap focus and productivity you’re definitely doing too much of it and sooner or later your boss will zap you.
  2. Increases Stress: I can see how that’s possible but it doesn’t affect me. Fortunately my self-image is not based on how others respond to my online presence. And, frankly, it shouldn’t affect yours either, so if you are stressed by social media, you definitely need to unplug.
  3. Disrupts Your Sleep: No way the devices are in another room (why would I take my phone to bed with me, not the normal thing I’d want in my bed). Now, OTOH, the phone ringing for others in the house drives me crazy, esp. as I exist on a different schedule than they do.
  4. Stunts Creativity: Now actually the way this is phrased makes sense and applies. “Stumped at work? Consider stepping away from the computer and getting some fresh air.” I learned this a long, long time ago since I’ve lived on a computer far longer than most users of social media have been alive. Bashing your head up against a problem is a good way for the problem to win. When I was smoking I wore a trail in the parking lot from my laps, but that was also when most solutions came to me. Staring at a screen is often the best way to draw a blank. OTOH, sometimes it just flows. So you’ve got to know when to look straight ahead and when to clear.
  5. Hurts: Learned about most physical pains a long time, but posture is a problem. But I doubt social media could drag me in enough since it’s usually while I’m typing (not reading) that the pain occurs.
  6. Makes Driving Dangerous: Absolutely and I’m glad I don’t do it. Any kind of text input, texting or other, is insane while driving. Just glancing to tune music on iPod is bad enough and phone is a no-no. So not a problem.

But all this misses the most important one!

Relaxation

I have actually experienced the too-much-connected and that was on my camping trip to Wyoming last year. That was the first year I had my mobile WiFi. I’ve had a computer and cellphone for a decade on trips, but those were offline. And sure enough I spent way too much time trying to send messages to others. The whole point of going somewhere like the Bighorns Mountain is to get away not broadcast and receive status updates. So actually that was my first and last time doing that. I’ll take the MiFi because getting weather actually matters. I’ll take the computer because I need that for navigation. I’ll take the cellphone because just maybe there might actually be an emergency. But the evil Internet, even just reading news, no – TURN IT OFF for a week.

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About dmill96

old fat (but now getting trim and fit) guy, who used to create software in Silicon Valley (almost before it was called that), who used to go backpacking and bicycling and cross-country skiing and now geodashes, drives AWD in Wyoming, takes pictures, and writes long blog posts and does xizquvjyk.
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