Knowing When It’s Time to Unplug

Image from Tereza Litsa who has great tips for unplugging on her blog:
Image from Tereza Litsa who has great tips for unplugging on her blog:

It’s kind of ironic that I’m writing a blog post about unplugging from social media, as it’s a form of social media. Plus, I’ve sent more tweets tonight than I have in two weeks, but that’s neither here nor there.

The point is this: over the last few weeks, I found that social media was doing me more harm than good, so I decided to back off of it for a bit. I think after five years on social media almost every day, I’m suffering from too much of a good thing.

Why? Well, some of it is the place I’m at in my life right now. The main thing is that my priorities need to be elsewhere. I’m also finding that some of my online friendships have turned from uplifting to toxic, so I need to take a break until I can see those people from a healthier perspective.

Plus, there’s always drama. Twitter seems to have a rant of the day, Facebook can be populated by people spouting off without knowing all the facts, and everyone has an opinion on the Amazon/Hachette dispute, which doesn’t even affect me. I don’t need that. Life has enough drama in it without hunting it down online.

So to avoid a mental meltdown but still stay active, I’m sticking to blogs, Pinterest and watching my basic Twitter lists: my agent/agency, local writers, and famous authors. That’s it. I’m even staying quiet with Team Awesome (which includes many of my fellow Spellbound Scribes) until I get my head on straight. It’s nothing personal, but it is for everyone’s benefit.

Sometimes we all need a break, that’s true for social media as much as it is for anything else. While it’s a great suite of tools for reaching/building an audience and interacting with other writers, it can also be a distraction and source of irritation. I, for one, would rather maintain a more limited positive presence online than have you see my nerves get frayed or the unguarded moments when I can’t control my (sometimes negative) opinions.

So if you’re wondering why you haven’t seen me as much, that’s why. I’ll be back, but I need some time to just be a writer, without the constant streams of articles on what I should or shouldn’t do to be successful or the relentless “look, I’m wonderful, now buy my book” tweets and posts. I need time to focus on me, my research and writing, on my life outside of the world wide web. Then, I’ll be in a better place when I am back full-steam ahead. But I wanted to be open and honest about it, rather than hide in the shadows.

Have you ever had a time when social media just got to be too much? How did you deal? Do you think it’s a good thing or a bad thing to admit when you’ve had enough?


6 thoughts on “Knowing When It’s Time to Unplug

    1. Thanks, Mishka! It’s always comforting to know that others don’t think badly of me for not being able to do it all. (Apparently, I’m the only one who feels that way about myself. I have to stop that!)

  1. I think it’s a wonderful thing to admit when you’ve had enough. And I also think it’s an extremely healthy thing, as a human being, to step back from the madness (or at least what _can_ be madness) now and again.

    Overall, I like social media. But it is a constant bombardment, and knowing just when and how to engage can be a minefield. That you’ve been doing it for five years is amazing; the only thing that surprises me is that you haven’t stepped back before. 😉

    1. Hi Barb,

      Now that you mention it, I’m surprised that I haven’t stepped back before, too. But at least I’m doing it now, right? I agree with you that overall social media is a great thing. I do enjoy it. I just have to find that healthy balance again, that’s all. I appreciate your support!

  2. Pingback: What Happens to Writers When They Unplug | Writing and Wellness

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