Since the existence of the internet, well at least the presence of it in my life, I have been prone to falling off the radar. Sometimes for a day, sometimes for months on end. It really pisses my friends off. And I don’t blame them. So why do I do it?
I haven’t got a bloody clue.
At least, that is, I don’t have a conscious reason. I don’t sit there and decide yeah, okay, mark the day, I’m ‘unplugging’. Sometimes the decision is taken out of my hands: I’m horrendously disposed to losing/breaking phones or not paying my phone bill. Or just straight up running out of data. But other times, I don’t know, I look up and it’s been six months and I still haven’t responded to a message. Like, come on, who does that? That’s so rude. And it’s definitely not a quality I love about myself. I’m working on changing it. Cos I wanna be a better functioning human. And a better friend.
But you know those periods where I’m MIA? (Aside from the niggling guilt in the side of your head about replying to the messages.) They’re pretty damn refreshing. Because your time becomes all about you, and learning about you. You break away from this weird social media bubble where we simultaneously post the best of our lives yet feel horrible about ourselves when making comparisons. I think the world needs more unplugging, for sure. And having just come back from a massive absence myself, this week’s self-care challenge is for you to go and do one yourself. I want you to actually consciously unplug, especially if you’re not the type of person who can do it accidentally.
Go and see what you can learn about yourself without the internet. And I’m not saying you can’t use the internet at all. Like Netflix has to be watched, and obscure facts have to be Googled. But just try and stop the mindless scrolling. It’s getting you nowhere. And also just don’t respond to messages. Even for a day. Because the notifications will never stop and they can be a bit overwhelming. Take a little time and just see what you naturally go and do if social media isn’t an option. Maybe you’ll pick up a book, run a bath, do some painting, gardening, cooking, film watching, shopping, walking, knitting. Heck, I don’t know your life. But go and do something that everyone is not then gonna hear about through Instagram or Snapchat or something. Do it because you want to do it not because it’s ‘on brand’.
Now I’m not saying go six months necessarily, cos although that can be fun it’s also a little irresponsible. Just try one day, maybe a weekend. Your friends won’t get mad because it’s completely plausible that you’d just be busy for a weekend. And then you can explore. It’s pretty fun being off the radar and in your own world. It opens you up to new experiences you might never have had if you just sat in a cold, dark room with your head fused to a phone. There literally is a whole world out there, and as millennials we’re old enough to remember that. So don’t forget it again. Go and find some magic.
Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl – Autoharp Demo – Wet