Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Two Weeks without Social Media and I Didn’t Die

I went to Panamá for two weeks in August to visit family. In addition to all the excitement leading up to my trip, I was very anxious about the fact that my grandparents do not have Wi-Fi in their home. With the killing of Michael Brown taking place four days before I left, I was concerned about missing updates about the case. And was also worried about missing all the randomness of twitter and Instagram. But I was definitely thankful that I would be away from the nausea that is Facebook.

I never thought of myself as someone who depended on social media. But before leaving for Panamá I realized I was, and I still am. In comparison to others, I may not tweet a lot or post that many pictures. But Twitter and Instagram have quickly become my past time. So the thought of not having the option to login while in Panamá had me a little worried.

Once I landed in Panamá I turned my phone off and put it in my handbag. And that’s where it remained until I went to the mall a week later and was able to access their free Wi-Fi. After quickly scrolling through emails, I had no desire to open my social media apps. It was in that moment that I decided to keep my vacation just that, mine.

I’d decided not to post those all too common “I’m on vacation” pictures to Instagram. Not knocking those who share, but for me my trip to Panamá was solely to visit my aging grandparents and spend time with other family members; which I’d originally lost sight of before getting there.

The Truth is I loved being disconnected from everything. It felt good not having my phone in close proximity or always looking for an outlet to charge it. It was nice to live in the moment and enjoy what was happening each day, without snapping and uploading pictures of all the places and people I visited.

And in the end I did just fine without my social media apps. And thankfully my grandparents had a few U.S. cable news stations, so I was able to stay updated on current events.

Two weeks later when I landed in Miami and had full access to the web, I did indeed catch up on all my podcasts and website readings. But I was okay with knowing I’d missed all the hoopla that came along with the MTV awards and all the other foolishness that I adhere to daily on twitter.

Disconnecting from everything is something I plan to continue doing. But the difference now is that I have to choose to disconnect. And since there is always a Wi-Fi connection just waiting for me to login. I have to use my willpower to over come this. I really don’t want to become so depended on social media that I miss out on life as it goes on around me.

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