The social media blackout

Social media can take a toll on your life. Keeping up with Facebook, Twitter, and other networking sites is exhausting.

On average Americans spend just as much time on the Internet (13 hours a week) as they do watching television. That adds up to 26 hours — a little more than a day of our week — spent in front of a screen.

We can suffer from social media. Managing several social media accounts while holding down a job and life can be taxing. Social media is a world of instant communication and demand. We can’t possibly keep up with the check-ins, pictures, internet memes, Words with Friends, internet news, and Twitter trends.

Sometimes, we need a social media blackout. Usually, a social media blackout happens when a company or celebrity has an embarrassing moment and they go silent on Facebook and/or Twitter. Example: Anthony Weiner, and his… ahem, Twitter problem. After everything went down, Weiner went silent on his active Twitter account.

The social media blackout I’m thinking about isn’t because we have done something wrong but because we need a break.

Taking breaks or sabbath is a requirement in life. Just as our bodies need rest, our minds do too. From time to time we need a mental health day. A day where we disconnect from the craze of the world and focus on things that we love. Walking, reading, spending time with family, or going to a movie are all things that help us refocus.

Taking a social media blackout from the dependence on technology harks back to the day when humans relied on their own skills and gifts. A social media blackout helps us to realize that meaningful connections are made through relationships, not digital networking. True love and friendship are found with time spent together, and not through a computer.

For the next two days I’m doing a social media blackout. No Twitter, Facebook, e-mail, or Foursquare check-ins. I’m going to a monastery to do some reading and writing. To recharge.

Do you need a social media blackout? How have you taken a social media break? What practices do you find meaningful during a social media blackout?

Alan Rudnick

Author's Website
About the Author
Alan Rudnick has been featured on television, radio, print, and social media and serves as the Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Ballston Spa, NY. He has quickly established himself as a leader, blogger, and commentator in the areas of faith, Christianity, ministry, and social media. He is the author of, “The Work of the Associate Pastor”, Judson Press. Alan’s writing has been featured with the Albany Times Union, The Christian Century, Associated Baptist Press, and The Fund of Theological Education. http://alanrudnick.org

Read more posts by