Why #Unplug?

Disclaimer: It’s not you, it’s me.

There comes a point when people just ask themselves “why?”:

  • Why do I bother working out?
  • Why do I forgo cookie dough ice cream for breakfast…or lunch?
  • Why sacrifice actual moments to share pictures of past moments?
  • Why “like” the Facebook status of someone I haven’t spoken to in 20 years?
  • Why take a picture of a meal I just ordered (and didn’t even make) and post it on Instagram?

These are all questions I’ve asked myself recently. For me, my “Why?” moment came on July 3rd. I found myself liking random pictures of people running on Instagram hoping these random people would “like” my pics back and then “follow” me. Why do I need this acceptance? Rather, I should have been savoring the fact that I had just ran a sub-5 minute mile! What the fuck is up with that? My knee jerk reaction was to decry social media as a whole and exile it to the furthest reaches of eternal damnation. However this Dante-esque backlash and subsequent emotional need for digital liberation passed. I knew it would be too difficult to cut the cord, call me nosey, call me an attention whore, just don’t call me Shirley! Alas, the need for freedom passed.

However, while traveling to D.C. on business a few weeks back, the thought resurfaced. While I was waiting for my plane to board, I was perusing the selection at Hudson News and came across the provocatively vibrant white cover of the most recent issue of Fast Company (How is white vibrant? The next time you’re at a newsstand, take a step back and realize how muddled all the other covers appear). On the stark cover was social media magnate Baratunde Thurston with a broad-ass grin looking up at the emboldened word “#UNPLUG” (doesn’t he look happy?!).

Time for a digital vacation...

Time for a digital vacation…

The article itself was inspiring and gave me the belief that if this dude who is totally tied to social media for both his personal and professional lives can do it, then this simpleton from the sticks can do it too…no problem.

In addition to the inspiration from the article, I’ve been falling behind on a rather significant goal that I’ve set myself. I want to qualify for the 2014 Boston Marathon. In order to do so, I have to shave ½ hour off my personal best marathon time over the course of the next 10 weeks. In order to do that, I need to focus. Not like, “oh, I did my best” focus. I’m talking legit Kenyan “if I don’t focus I’ll get my ass eaten by a lion” focus.

I’ll still maintain a healthy run/life/work balance; however I think it would be best if the final 8 weeks of training don’t include: blogging, tweeting, FB status updating, checking-in on Yelp, or IG liking. I will keep email and text alive…shit, I have to respect my peeps somehow. Nike+ will likely be the only social app remaining  on the first page of my iPhone (and it’s not social, more motivational). Pictures will be for me and for those close to me to enjoy…and likely won’t be of wine bottles, shoes, or food I didn’t prepare. Okay, I can’t promise that I won’t take pictures of wine bottles.

I will go dark Monday, August 12th and I’ve set a date for my return, whether a triumphant Boston qualifier or not, for October 9th (three days after the Smuttynose Marathon). By then, I’ll have a ton to blog about and hopefully be as witty as ever. Yet I probably will sacrifice a couple of the other forms of social media exhibitionism that I currently deploy. We’ll see…

Until “Black Monday” (how’s that for dramatic?), I hope you continue to enjoy the ride. I told you it’s not you, it’s me!

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Categories: Hodgepodge

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

25 replies

  1. I’ll be following you on Twitter! Keep me posted about how you’re doing! Will miss your posts but totally understand.

    YOU’VE GOT THIS!

  2. Enjoy the freedom! It is funny how I started blogging at a time in my life where that is the LAST thing I have time for. I could probably benefit from a break too 😉 Enjoy the ride sans social media & BEST OF LUCK in your BQ pursuit. Can’t wait to hear the updates in October.

  3. Wishing you the best of luck – on dropping out and BQ’ing. Run, Kenyan, Run.

  4. Good for you — happy running!

  5. Wow, that takes a lot of courage to do what you’re doing! I bet it feels amazing to not have to worry about social media and start doing/paying attention to the other things we’ve been neglecting. I’m really looking forward to read about your experiences. The ultimate cleanse!!

  6. Best of luck! Even though your “Black Monday” is actually my birthday!

  7. Good luck with your training and up-coming race. Enjoy the silence!

  8. I’ve slowly but surely been doing the same thing – stopped blogging regularly last fall (I only write something now when I actually feel like it, not because I feel obligated) and cut way, way back on Twitter not too long after (I check it maybe once a week now, and almost never tweet unless replying to someone). I still waste time on too many other places like Facebook and Reddit, but I view things like this as a process – it’s too overwhelming for me to cut all the cords at once, so I take it step by step and try to push at least some of that saved energy into something more productive.

    The most important thing is that you have an important goal that you’re working towards. That oughta help keep you honest. Now quit reading this and go out and run.

    • It’s amazing how many people share these sentiments, yet continue along. Shoot, I’ve been one of the for how long now. It just goes to show how ingrained social media has become in the fiber of many of us.

      On that note…Seacrest out!

  9. Wow!! Good for you- I think about doing that often, but then wonder how I’d keep myself busy during my commute to work via PT. looking forward to your return!!

    • Thanks so much!

      If you decide to do it, I’d say read a cool wine book or two:
      1) ‘Judgment of Paris’ by George M Taber (basis for the movie “Bottle Shock”)
      2) ‘The Billionaire’s Vinegar’ by Benjamin Wallace (about the high-stakes counterfeiting in wine…AWESOME).

      Look forward to coming back and thanks for the encouragement and for following me on my journey! 🙂

  10. I just found you; now I shall miss you. Wine, running, traveling, and the exact same Fast Company cover that caught me in an airport. Kindred.

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