Yesterday a lot of people text me saying they couldn’t believe I was taking off social media right in the middle of the most important American diplomatic achievement since Nixon went to China. The internet is on fire, people kept telling me.
And honestly? It didn’t make that big of a difference to me. Of course, I had some memes I wished I could share a little more freely, but I was in the zone, getting work done, having a pretty good day, and my stress levels were a lot lower.
Stress levels in general are extremely high because of social media. It creates anxiety both in the desire for acceptance and in building up extra rage against one’s enemies. When we’re on there too much (and we’re all on there too much), it exacerbates any problems we might have. A study was posted on Drudge Report yesterday saying that 70% of all conflicts are due to the online. People don’t read the same tones into text as they do to talking. Can you imagine if Kevin Roche from Worldcon or Cat Rambo from SFWA had picked up the phone and called me like adults used to do, rather than blow up online because social media tells them conservatives are monsters and Nazis? We might have a very different science fiction industry.
But while our opposition is so steeped in these online identities to where they have little else, we have the world. We have our work, we have our families, we have a beautiful creation that God provided us to explore. Just stepping back and taking a few days away makes everything better and gives life perspective.
A question I received also was “what’s wrong?” in conjunction to taking a few days away from the online. Nothing’s wrong over here. Everything is going great. I believe we have a propensity to take off online only when things are sour, which means we’re in a bad mood and won’t fully experience the goodness of everything else in the world. Take sabbaticals in good times and bad and you’ll see a vast improvement in life. I quit facebook for the entire duration of Lent last year, and it was freeing time wise, and it was good. These sites are geared to addict us toward them, so it takes several days to break the addiction habits we always fall back into. That’s why i’m doing a full 10 days this time as well.
It’s tough, as I’m getting very close to launching a crowdfund for my Flying Sparks comic, as well as launch several books this summer, but at the same time, making sure I’m dialed back, energized, and working hard on all these projects to complete them is the most important thing.
Join me in the the challenge. Drop twitter and facebook for 10 days, see how you feel, and report back to me!
If you don’t subscribe to my Freestartr, you barely see how productive I am. I come out with a short story a month, give out draft chapters, do a video on the making of my work and that’s just the beginning. Once we reach certain levels it’ll help me to put out content like professionally produced podcasts and comics. Plus you can support my blogging effort here. Join me and a community of fans and friends in changing the culture.