Bit of a break from the norm of lists and illustration/business posts today. I'll admit, I didn't have a schedule posted for today, I just wrote this off the back of some stuff I read that I wanted to respond to and I'm not 100% sure where this jolly will take me. I've been reading a lot of similar blog posts and articles lately, all about our generation of internet addicts and the need for a break. But is was this one from Hannah Gale that really struck a chord with me.
I am all for the idea of taking a break from the internet, turning off social media and interacting with real life people. Keeping up with real life relationships and maintaining a hold on real life rather than a virtual one is important to the mental well being of all of us and turning the iPhone off for the occasional date night is a sound idea.
I have no problem with the idea of a social media free stint and I have no objections to trying it. However, it's the feeling that I should feel stupid and trivial for not being able to accomplish one day off that I have a problem with.
In her post, Hannah Gale talked about the fact she couldn't take a break off social media when she wanted to. She thought it would be a relaxing way to spend some time off over her birthday and when she found that actually, it was a bit crap. (I won't spoil the rest of her post, go read it yo self).
I think this inability to go cold turkey for even a day is something a lot of us tackle and we inevitably realise we can't live without our social media and thus, the hiatus is over.
I don't think this is a bad thing. I certainly don't think it's something to be ashamed of.
Sure, we can't live without the internet. Sure, we have to sit there refreshing Twitter for the 27423749327th time to occupy ourselves. Sure, we can't always switch off.
We can also still hold a focused conversation with someone we love. We can also use it for our benefit and to help us. We can also make real life friends, from the ones we met online. They don't say girls can multitask for no reason. I for one can be simultaneously refreshing Twitter, blogging, organising, texting, drinking a cuppa and eating chocolate for a solid hour. Go me.
We shouldn't feel guilty or foolish for not being able to switch off. It is after all, a job for most of us. As bloggers and designers, creatives and writers, we rely on social media and the internet to gain us a following, allow us to work and to make us money. It is only natural that we cannot turn off the laptop, switch off the phone and step away from the virtual world, when it means so much to us in our careers. If I'm not directly on the internet, I'm scheduling tweets, photographing promo shots, writing lists, nailing my grid on VSCOcam or thinking up the next blog. It is ingrained in my work, in my social life and in my downtime. And I'm ok with that.
I think it is important to remember that it's fine to need to take a break, the internet is a cruel place to be. But it is also fine not to be able to too.
Don't forget to read the original post by Hannah Gale here!