Social Media Sabbatical

So, I’m not entirely sure how I decided that I needed a Social Media Sabbatical, like, right this very minute, but I just asked my good friend Melani to change the passwords on my Facebook & Twitter accounts and had her promise not to tell me what they are, no matter how much I might beg and plead until next year.
January. 1st. 2012.

Whaaaaaa?  How am I going to do this?  I think I might be cheating already.  Because I’m writing this before I’ve actually given Melani the current passwords to these accounts.  Because….. you know……  I need to leave these accounts with some type of explanation, right? For like, when people come looking for me? I can’t just disappear. Can I?  Would anyone even notice?

Yep Folks. Therein lies the problem.

Somewhere between my morning coffee and mid-day snack I started reading this article.  These words stopped me cold:

“It’s a never-ending race to remind others that we’re here, that we exist.  It reminds me of when I used to do dance routines and little plays for my mom.  “Look!”  I’d yell every few seconds.  “You’re NOT watching! Look!”  It gets exhausting.  And it’s not really living……  I don’t need to broadcast my life on a daily basis.”

I had a guttural reaction. Something deep inside of me screamed “YES!”  A flurry of emails back and forth between Melani and I and Bim – Bam – Boom ~ she was done with Facebook. Also, Melani deleted her Twitter account months ago.  This is a woman who clearly does not suffer from the same level of “Look at me! Look at me!” as I do.

Nevertheless, I am going to do it.  (Can you hear me chanting to myself “I think I can, I think I can”?)  I am! I am! Dammit. I just need a little more preparation.  I mean, for instance, when I started writing this blog post, I didn’t even know that I was going to agree to stay off Facebook and Twitter until next year!   That seems a bit drastic when I see it in writing, but I think 3 months is a good length for a sabbatical, don’t you?

So, here’s what really did it for me:

“It’s all the mental and creative energy spent on words that don’t even get archived. It’s all the tweets that could have been conversations with my family. All the words I could have poured into poems or lines of dialogue or essays like this one. All the thoughts that should not be formatted, reduced, condensed to 140 characters. All the ideas meant for mulling. All the words best spoken to an audience of one (or none). It’s the idea that thinking is not a performance, hard as that can be for someone like me to accept.” the brilliant Laurel Snyder

And so, with that bit o’ brilliance from Laurel, I leave you, my social media comrades. I’m done with the exhausting exercise of “Look at me! Look at me!”  At least until next year. :-D

T.T.F.N.!  (that’s Ta-Ta-For-Now for those of you who do not have teenage daughters)

If you need to reach me (and oh Lordy, how I’m praying that you DO) I’ll be blogging right here and reading every single comment.  Otherwise, I’ll be writing lines of dialogue and poems, songs and essays, staring at clouds and hiking up mountains, all in the hopes of creating something meaningful.

”Pursue something so important that even if you fail, the world is better off with you having tried.” – Tim O’Reilly

Next: Part 2: Social Media Sabbatical Day 30-ish-Detox Update

Then: Part 3: Social Media Sabbatical Update Month 3

 



Comments
36 Responses to “Social Media Sabbatical”
  1. Amazing! And, I believe many others will be joining you soon. I have cut back, hardly post as much, but I still use it. But it’s not a model that feeds me by any means. Can’t wait to hear your revelations, and read your thoughts during this time.
    Andrea Costantine recently posted..Speaking Your Truth V2 Released Today!

    • SandyGrason says:

      Hi Andrea!
      Thank you so much! I’ve been sitting here thinking “what if nobody comments? That would suck.” ha ha It’s interesting that feeling of withdrawal – the thinking in 140 characters syndrome. Fascinating.

      It’s only been a couple of hours…. this is going to be interesting.

  2. Yvette says:

    WOW!! Yup, I agree others might join you, including moi. I’ve cut back, but can’t seem to completely commit to totally unplugging – not sure why. Oh well, maybe I’m not ready, maybe it needs to be part of Yvette 3.0, maybe not, will see. Cannot wait to hear what unfolds from your social media diet and for sure will be reading your blogs posts..Love ya xoxo…
    Yvette recently posted..How to grow your business without working more

    • SandyGrason says:

      Yvette 3.0! I love it! :-D
      I had to give my passwords to Melani because I knew I could “break” my husband if I needed to. LOL!
      It’s kind of exciting, just like heading off to a REAL sabbatical, like Thoreau, into the woods…. I always wanted to do that.

  3. Debbie Ally says:

    Very wild, synchronistic post for me. Today has been monumental in my life for sure and with all that is, came my consideration of the balls I juggle without thinking about it. I’ve pondered, what’s in my life that doesn’t fulfill me and what can I do away with? Social media immediately came to mind. It (Social media) has always been a love – hate relationship for me and I can honestly say if I didn’t feel the need to keep up on what’s going on in the tech world, I’d have never gotten involved with it.

    Now, I just need to determine if the right thing is to cast it off or if it’s that I need to make better / different choices where it’s concerned.

    Of course, I’m mixed over how I feel about you checking out awhile but you can make me laugh in real life anytime so I don’t feel the ‘loss’ as much as some might :D
    Debbie Ally recently posted..Worry

    • SandyGrason says:

      That’s why the “sabbatical” feels good to me. I’m not saying that I’m going to close my Facebook & Twitter pages forever. (although, that seems to be what many do after one of these sabbaticals) I’m holding my judgements & just hoping to get through the withdrawl phase without becoming unhinged. :-D

      I’m looking forward to some new inspirations & conversations too! In real life, with YOU, over cocktails!

  4. Melani Ward says:

    Yee haw! Let the games, phone calls and in-person “play dates” begin:):)
    Melani Ward recently posted..The Social Media Detox Smoothie

  5. Donna says:

    It’s funny, this subject has come up for me A LOT lately. I barely use twitter/facebook for personal stuff, just for business…and it’s so much less compulsive. But the fact that it keeps on coming up is making me think…if I couldn’t keep up with people on Facebook, would I get in touch with them any other way? Maybe it’s time to consider that if the answer is ‘no’, they need to go! Hmm. Gulp. Can we subscribe to blog posts? Without twitter and facebook, I won’t know you’ve posted!!! xxxxxxxxx
    Donna recently posted..OnTheBeach – A Few of My Favourite Things

    • SandyGrason says:

      Hi Donna-licious!
      Ow are you, luv? (in my best fake english accent)

      Of course you know, I have absolutely no idea about how to subscribe to a blog post- but I’m sure there is a way. Isn’t that the RSS thingy? How does that work? I think we should have a button or something for that. Need to consult with my F.G. ~ Debtastic… :-)
      xoxo
      Sandy

      • Donna says:

        Daaaahhhling, I am FABULOUS. Of course!

        RSS is alright, but for lazy girls (like what I am), I like subscriptions that e-mail me when there’s something new and marvellous for me to read! If you’ve still got your newsletter subscription list, you can use that and set it up to automatically send a mail whenever you blog. S’easy…and I love me some easy!

        Hope all is well with you and you’re still enjoying the mountains and what-not.
        Mwah!
        D.x
        Donna recently posted..October Daily Practice: Laugh!

  6. Andrea Vahl says:

    You go girl! I agree, I have been spending less time on Twitter. I still like connecting there and I love it because that’s where we met! But it’s too much sometimes. We will miss you online because of your wonderfulness and I am lucky because I get to see you in person :)

  7. I keep wondering when people will wake up and realize that as a business strategy – social media is N.O.T. and as a life strategy – well don’t get me started on that! (Just this week I put one teenage daughter on a social media diet. You gals who know me can probably guess which one.)

    Here’s a big hug and a high five from me to you for pulling the plug and I bet you won’t be back. Why would you be when you wake up in January and see where you are because you put time and energy into real connection, real communication, real writing?

    TTFN and I’ll call you. On the phone. How novel…

    oxo mk
    MaryKay Morgan recently posted..Conscious Affiliate Network

  8. Debbie Ally says:

    Ok so I’m clear that while I’m not crazy about Facebook, I LOATHE Twitter and never could get the hang of it so I’ve given myself permission to shut it down – it’s now history.

    Interestingly enough, when I went over to close it, curiosity got the best of me and I checked to see if @LaurelSnyder had taken the same path and I’m sad to report (well, not really but it sounds funny) that she has apparently fallen off the wagon & is an active user / abuser again. Sigh…

    And see, herein lies a part of my Twitter despise… I can’t communicate in 140 characters or less (if you can’t see me anyway).

    Signed,
    Officially Twitter-less :D
    Debbie Ally recently posted..Worry

    • SandyGrason says:

      Ha, that’s funny. Well, to be fair, I’m pretty sure that article was from like, 2009. So who knows what’s happened in Laurel’s life since then. I sent her the link and told her how inspired I was by her words. I’m imagining that if I had a book or tv show launching, I’d want to use the tools of social media to make sure I had sufficiently supported my publisher/producers, etc. It’s kind of a necessary evil when you are required to get your work out in the world.

      I just think, that for me, lately, it’s interfering with my ABILITY to DO my work. It’s become a distraction- not a tool. More noise when I really need to be quiet and contemplate longer, deeper thoughts. I’m very curious to see if I feel the need to return…. I guess it will depend upon what creative projects are born from the quiet.

      hmmmmmmmmm………..

      • Amy Miyamoto says:

        Ah Sandy – Here is the crux of the power of your choice from where I sit…brilliant and so resonates. I find it a bit compelling to follow the thread of what is underlying our fear of pulling back from being completely plugged in all the time…

        “it’s interfering with my ABILITY to DO my work. It’s become a distraction- not a tool. More noise when I really need to be quiet and contemplate longer, deeper thoughts. I’m very curious to see if I feel the need to return…. I guess it will depend upon what creative projects are born from the quiet.”

        • SandyGrason says:

          Thanks Amy :-)
          I’m working on an update post. The first week was strange and so interesting… watching how my brain works… the sabbatical has been really, REALLY nice so far. I highly recommend it!
          xoxoxo

  9. Marcia Hoeck says:

    Oh my God, Sandy — I. AM. SO. JEALOUS. Or maybe that’s not the right term. I know you won’t even read this but I still want you to feel the vibe — I already knew you were brave. This just proves it. I am forever in awe.

    xoxo
    M

    • SandyGrason says:

      Ha-Ha Marcia. You’re so funny.

      I *am* reading all the comments on my blog & trying to respond in a timely manner. I’ve just given up the Facebook – Twitter – social media, etc.
      It’s been interesting & quite free-ing!
      Thanks for the good vibes, dahhhhling!
      xoxoxo
      sandy

  10. Hmmm … the synchronicity of all this has quite smacked this goddess round the head.

    First, I was listening to one of your calls CCOR calls and decided to say hi on Facebook;
    (not FAB formula, as mentioned in said posting to FB!)

    Then I see this post on your FB page;

    Come over to visit and read;

    And that highlighted quote hits me as hard as it did you!

    I sooooo want to step out of social media.

    To be honest, I don’t use Twitter (have absolutely no idea where the 3000+ followers came from!), but I do blog and I email the luvvlies on my list about three times a week, AND I’ve been known to lose an entire morning in the labyrynth of Facebook.

    But, like you, I’m finding that the very thing I strove to create – the thing I intended when I began the Fabulous Formula – is now getting in the way of becoming … well … more Fahbulous!

    What terrifies me is that if I DO disconnect – to wallow in the bliss of non-electronic connections and real-life-luscious creativity – I may shoot myself in the virtual foot and end up back at square one.

    Unknown and un-noticed.

    And that would be utterly awful!!

    (Actually, to an applause junkie like me ~ it would be DEATH!)

    But still, the word ‘sabbatical’ whispers my name ….
    and if I answer …
    it’ll be because you led the way.

    Bliss-ings and hugs
    the goddess known as Jacqui
    Jacqueline Gates recently posted..Blog Posts, Like Knickers, Should Be Elasticated!

    • SandyGrason says:

      Hello Goddess Jacqui dahhhling,
      so wonderful to see your smiling face on my blog.

      The sabbatical is wonderful so far….I’m working on an update to post soon. I understand that some people really can’t take 3 months off of social media because their livelihood depends upon it. But what about just this coming weekend?

      You’ll be fascinated at the way your mind chatters on about everything you are missing while you are out enjoying life. It takes a bit to completely unplug, but it’s sooo worth it.
      :-()
      xoxoxo

  11. Shilpa says:

    Sandy

    You are such a pioneer. Honest with your instincts. It’s so radical and amazing ! I love it !

    Just to share an insight with you – writing/creating is a supreme act of going within, facing oneself. That is why I (and many others) dive into facebook or the internet – because we want to feel connected with others, because we are scared to connect with ourselves.

    I think you ARE doing the modern-day equivalent of Thoreau and going into the wild woods – of your life….and leaving the internet of conformity behind.

    Well done sister, you ROCK – as usual :)

    But please keep us updated with how it’s going ;)

    Love you

    Shilpa

    • SandyGrason says:

      Shilpa-licious!
      I miss you. How is life dahhhling?
      My sabbatical is wonderful. I’m thoroughly enjoying being unplugged & am starting to feel the energy returning to my body in a grand and wonderful way. I’m working on an update post. :-D
      xoxoxo
      mmwwaahhh!

  12. Just checking in to say I’m missing you and Melani (and the other bright lights of Boulder)!

    Sending big hugs of support for this very *sane* and courageous decision.

    Since last spring, I’ve traded off some time online to spend more time volunteering in my community.
    It’s been rewarding and refueling in many ways.

    SAVOR your delicious living and loving in 140+++ characters, Sandy-licious :)

    Mollie

    • SandyGrason says:

      Hi Mollie,
      So great to hear from you. We were just discussing the possibility of another Mojo Retreat (stay tuned) we missed it too much. It was such a wonderful experience for all of us… we all need more Mojo and more Retreats in our lives, yes???!!!
      Big Hugs & thanks for commenting
      xoxoxoxo

  13. Nanette says:

    I can always count on you to make me really think, Sandy.
    And somehow the “stars” always align in a way that makes sooooo much sense.
    You’re the best!

    Though I don’t think I’ll be giving up FB and Twitter completely, because I can point to real business that has been generated by social media, and real women I am reaching first through these vehicles, I am becoming ever more conscious of the “why” behind my engagement with this platform and how easy it is for me to feed my tendency to isolate with justification.

    The blogosphere really is where I am most at home, and where I intend to refocus my attention, too.
    Thanks for the gentle nudge!

    Wishing you well–
    Nanette

    PS – And one of these days I’ll get the hang of using RSS/subscriptions to a reader, too.
    Nanette recently posted..A Quiet Happy Blogiversary – and the Evolution Continues…

  14. Sandy,
    I stumbled across this blog post today, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I’ve wasted hours of my life playing stupid games, and doing the exhausting “Look at me” dance with facebook, and twitter.

    I’m following your lead as of tonight. Only my blog, business page, and bookclub;
    no games, no tweets, and no bullshit status updates and comments.

    Have a wonderful sabbatical.
    Chris

    • SandyGrason says:

      Hi Chris,
      I’m so glad the timing was good for you too. My sabbatical has been wonderful for me. It was very strange the first week, but with each day I feel I have more energy to focus on the important people and projects in my life and less time & energy sucking going on in my life. :-D

      I’m sending you big hugs & lots of good vibes.
      xoxoxo

  15. Joe says:

    Sandy,

    Thank you. For every word. You made what should have been an easy decision into a “no brainer”…Are you sure we weren’t separated at birth?

    Cheers,

    Joe

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