Back in the light

Posted: January 5, 2016 in Uncategorized

Being dark for 11 days – what was it like?


So after 23rd December ticked over into the 24th, I stopped posting on Social Networks and spent very very little time on them.  What was it like?  How did I cope?  What did I learn?

It was actually NOT that big a deal.  I found my battery on my phone lasted a long long time.  I resisted urges to even favourite things I read in the very very brief time I scanned networks (and this was only when I had a mention or an alert on a social network – I kept an eye on it – three times a day tops and not at all on some days).

I didn’t feel any anxiety about missing out.  I smiled a little at some of the things I did see when I popped back in but loved the sense of NOT having to post anything.

I missed the reciprocity though.  When people had a birthday note pop up or when they posted something to me I felt a little rude by not replying BUT I resisted and told myself that they’d understand my going dark meant something.

Was I more attentive at home and to those around me?  A little more but I genuinely believe in the flow of on and offline being something I have tuned into to.  I see something funny online I share it offline with who I am with.  I hear something great offline and I feel it could be a useful thing to share online.

I think sometimes people do make too much of this “online is a distraction/offline is best”.  It’s mixing both for the benefit of you and others that really makes things tick.

When I need to focus on things, I ignore social networks, alerts, phone calls and more.  It’s not even a tough discipline.  If you’re THAT easily distracted then the thing you’re focusing on isn’t that important right now surely?  I tend to use social networks to inspire me rather than distract.  If I need a bit of inspiration or a break away from something I’m deeply grappling with, it comes as a welcome relief to see a nice post on something positive or a useful study report.

When I want to idle away some time – also known as randomised researching – I jump on social networks.

Already in my first 48 hours back on the grid, I’ve found some brilliant stuff.  

I’ve also found some amazing things in the journals that had stacked up a bit over the past 2 months and some great things in the books I jumped into.  These weren’t left because I wasted time on social networks or online – I was just plain busy with stuff (work).

There is though ONE THING I missed whilst off the grid: incessantly learning stuff.  So strong is my appetite to learn that this did make me a little uncomfortable and I needed some form of distraction (which is where lots of movies filled a gap).

So my lessons here are:

  1. It’s great to go dark just to prove to yourself and others you can do it.
  2. It’s useful to have space where the small screens in life give way to larger books, journals and magazines.
  3. That you don’t lose out or suffer fear of missing out as much as many people predict you will/do by not being online.
  4. That people welcome you back which is lovely.  It’s always nice to be missed for things you do, say and make people feel/think about.
  5. That there’s balance in the force.  It’s not on or offline it’s a beautiful movement between them to interweave them into your life and work and play.

It is though, great to be back.

  1. foxhuman says:

    All I can say is that I hope you used your downtime to see Star Wars : The Force Awakens…and not just once! 🙂

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