As an online magazine it goes against logic that I’d be here today advising you to walk away from your computer, and all other mobile devices, but that’s exactly what I’m telling you to do. Sometimes it is vital to your sanity, and your social life, that you unplug for a while. If you are anything like me, your family will not see you for hours upon hours while you work, write, surf the web, keep up with social media, or comment on blogs. You will sit down to write and before you know it, the sun is setting and you haven’t eaten yet. That’s me on a daily basis.
Why You Need To Unplug
It’s so easy to get lost in social media; YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, your blog feed, Stumble Upon, Instagram, Redit, email, Four Square, Linkedin, and especially The Indie Chicks. The point is we’ve become a “switched on” nation, constantly ‘connected’ with millions of people at one time, yet we’re often ignoring those that are physically with us. We’re all guilty of being sucked into the web even if we are working to get better.
Have you ever see a cute guy at a bar that you were trying to catch the eye of but he wouldn’t unplug up from his cell phone long enough to notice you? I know that I’ve been that woman. I spend a large chunk of my free time glued to my laptop and I love it. I love it, but my loved ones don’t. When your job and your passion is computer and Internet related, it’s important to realize that what you see as dedication others may see as neglect. I’ve learned that you have to unplug and spend time with those who love and support you no matter how much your workload is waiting for you.
How to Unplug
The key to making time to unplug is to be as efficient as possible when you sit down at the computer. Have a list of what you need to accomplish and if social media doesn’t play into it, don’t even open those windows. If you have to write, keep off of Twitter. If you need to update your profiles, stay off of YouTube. Be efficient, be driven, and get done what needs to get done so you can unplug and bone your man.
Make It Official
Schedule time away from the computer. This is how I had to make things work at first. I had to set aside time to be away from my computer when I used to have to schedule time to work on it. It’s so easy to get sucked into a YouTube circle jerk, or your blog roll, so ahead of time either make plans for friends/family, set a timer, or schedule “unplug” time on your To Do list. The world and your friends are out there waiting for you.
Leave It Behind
It’s not truly unplugging if you are checking your email on your cell. To unplug you have to leave it all behind. Mute your phone, turn off your computer, walk away, and dedicate yourself completely to those around you. An email can wait, a tweet can go unanswered, and the Internet will go on without you. Your friend, mother, or boyfriend, want your time. Nothing is ruder than somebody always checking his or her phone when you are out together. If you are going to unplug be sure to truly be present with those you are with.
Sometimes just acknowledging how absorbed you’ve been in your computer is enough to ease the hurt feelings of those around you. A simple “thank you” goes a long way. I’ve got no problem telling friends and family, “I’m sorry I’ve been so absent lately” when we get together. I make sure they know that making time away from the computer with them is a priority for me. Few people outside my writing world understand the level of dedication it takes, and they shouldn’t have to. Thank you goes a long way towards understanding and forgiveness.
For anyone who uses the computer or Internet as a creative outlet, it’s important to remember that unplugging is the best way to get inspiration. What is better inspiration for an artist than a gorgeous summer day spent on the lake with some friends? As a writer, it’s great to unplug, head to a bar, and observe what’s going on around me. You need to unplug and feed your creative spirit.
We love you; we love your dedication to our site and our community. We appreciate every minute you spend reading here but even we want you to unplug and go enjoy life. Get out there, bitches, and take the world by storm…then be sure to come back here and tell us all about it.
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