I gave up all social media for my March monthly discipline challenge. It's been one week. Here are the deranged thoughts of a self-described internet addict.
Day 1, Hour 1: I wander into the bathroom vaguely aware that I am missing doing something. And then I just stand on the cold marble for a few minutes until I wander back to the computer to stare out the window.
Goofing around online (but not on social media!), I read an interesting article in the NYT, then note that it is written by an author whose book I meant to read but never did. Check amazon. Kind of expensive. Can't ask twitter if it's worth the price, so I text a friend who I *think* might have read it. I see a lot a lot of texting in my future. I'm not sure this is saving me any time? Twitter would have answered in under 4 seconds.
Day 1, Hour 3: Take a reading lunch at a little cafe close to my daughter's preschool. Realize I usually check stuff on my phone before I order and before I leave. Don't. Read probably 15 minutes more than usual.
Listen to podcast on the way to preschool pickup. Hear a fantastic line in it that I want to tweet. Can't. Have to just sit and think about it for myself.
Day 1, End of day: Anxious and grumpy. Unsure if it's related to my listless attitude. Have wandered around the house for hours like a dog without a master.
Day 1, Bedtime: Watch Lakers pull off a 1-pt. win in the last 7 seconds of a game. Can't tweet it. Just have to high-five my husband.
Days 2 & 3: The Gorilla leaves town to shoot a commercial and my parent arrive to visit. For two days I am so busy I barely notice the lack of social media, in fact I am relieved for less noise with a lot going on. Both mornings, though, I awake and stare at my phone. Nothing to scroll through except boring email. Each time I settle on playing a few rounds of solitaire, then just get out of the bed.
A friend updates me on another friend who is going through a hard time and has posted about it in a Facebook group. I feel sad that I wasn't part of the conversation, that my virtual hug isn't communal. I text the friend in the difficult situation instead. Am glad to reach out to her, but it feels invasive somehow, like I'm not supposed to know of her situation since I've gone dark.
I notice that I haven't taken a single picture on my phone in 3 days. Not of my cute kids, not of my food. Do I only take photos of my beautiful life if I want to share them? That can't be right. Can it?
Day 4: Need to know a good brunch place in Pasadena and have to rely on yelp and texting. Later I have a legitimate public complaint but can't snark it anywhere. Just have to be irritated by myself.
Day 4, End of the day: I'm overtired but am resisting heading to bed. Find myself online shopping for no reason at all. Consider cheating for just a quick second and clicking over to FB, but decide I should go finish the book I'm reading instead. Don't buy anything and don't cheat. Decide this is a major victory for 2014.
Day 5, morning: Meet a dear friend for brunch at the spot in Pasadena and we talk for two hours, neither of us looking at our phones once. As we're leaving, we take a cute selfie that he'll presumably share with our group of friends online. He texts it to me so I'll have it. I save it to my camera roll and make a mental note to share it when I can. Almost a month from now.
Day 5, afternoon: Spend time with my parents and kids and finish two books that I started earlier this week. I'm a fast reader in general, but two books in a week is a lot even for me. Fifteen minutes spent here or there reading instead of scrolling has added up. Feel satisfied (smug, even) for the first time since this experiment began.
Days 6 & 7: The Gorilla comes home from his shoot and we go to dinner, make dinner, eat donuts, wander the Rose Bowl, and play outside. I take almost no pictures and am starting to feel less forlorn about not sharing these experiences in real time. My parents will leave soon, though, and I harbor a vague nagging that my thumbs will be more itchy when my days return to "normal."
Season finale of True Detective airs. I can't tweet my excitement before or after. But then again, I don't see any spoilers, either.
24 days to go.