Monday, April 2, 2012

The Importance of Unplugging

Writers today have a lot more challenges than just what is on the television. In an age where you can be connected to the internet through your computer, phone, e-reader, and probably a hundred more things I'm forgetting, it's difficult to remember a time when this wasn't the case*.

With the exception of a few hours a week, all of my online time has been done by phone or NOOK while I worked on my revisions and only then to look up something or compulsively check Twitter and such**. Doing this was important because the revisions I undertook were TOUGH: scene scrutiny, additional worldbuilding, not to mention a lot of yelling at the paper. (For the record my revisions are still going on, but I'm on back end of it now.)

Unplugging is good not only for a particularly hard revision, but for life. When you're not attached to the internet (or technology in general), you can do a lot more in the real world: have lunch with friends, spend more time outdoors, socialize***. When you pull away from the computer for a while, you'll find that you become refreshed and when you go back to your computer, you look at things different. You also discover you don't need to be as connected as you've been previously.

That's not to say that unplugging doesn't have pitfalls. It does. As someone who was in front of a computer 40 hours a week when the day job ruled supreme, I had instant access to Bestie Danielle and we would chat throughout the workday. When all the craziness happened with FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, I had no idea what that was about and felt stupid. I have to skim all of the blogs in my Google Reader. I don't know everything that is happening on Facebook either.

The unplugging process has reminded me that, like with everything else, internet moderation is key. When I move all of my revisions back to digital, I know that I'll have better control when it comes to internet distractions. Since I'm not required to have a computer on for 8 hours a day now, I can pick and choose what I want to do when I do decide to go online.


Do any of you unplug occasionally? What do you like about it?

* I understand that some people can't recall such a time. This makes me feel very old.
** Checking the social networks was the last ditch procrastination method, especially since it kills the battery.
*** The socialization is a big thing if you're an introvert like me.

11 comments:

  1. I can't during the week because of work, but I try to unplug on the weekends, at least one of the days. Most of the time I don't even miss it.

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    1. When I worked the day job, I would always limit my computer time at night and on the weekends.

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  2. Funny! Yesterday I blogged about how addicted I am to social media. I've been "unplugging" lately, by simply putting my phone on vibrate. It's liberating not to hear the dings and chimes and rings. Now, when I have a spare ten minutes, I catch up on texts/emails/tweets, but I don't feel so tied to/dependent on my phone. Great post, Alicia, and good luck finishing up that revision!

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    1. I hear you. Lately I've been leaving my phone in another room buried under things so I can't get to it easily.

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  3. I need to just walk away from FB and Twitter sometimes, especially when I realize I just sat in front of my laptop for an hour and did exactly nothing.

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    1. YES! I realized this yesterday when I stupidly put on Netflix while writing.

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  4. Great post! Quita and I just recently returned to regularly blogging, so you can tell I'm a fan of unplugging. Sad thing is, I feel like I've missed out on so much now! :(

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    1. Yep. I go through the same thing, but it's not even like I sit there and wonder what's been happening on the internet because I haven't.

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  5. I KNOW! I feel so lost...it's not so much that I'm a fan of unplugging, I just don't have the time to be all plugged up like I want :(

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    1. See I'm just the opposite. I *like* unplugging.

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  6. I tend to unplug on the weekends. I'm on the Internet all the time during the week--reading blogs, checking twitter, etc. But during weekends, I usually forget about twitter and if I check blogs, it'll usually only be on Sunday night. It's definitely nice to get away from it all and take time to get writing done or spend time with loved ones.

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