“The source is within, so there is no need for seeking validation indiscriminately or masochistically from the outside, nor for trying to make the environment friendly in order to get support, nor for appeasing others for reward.” – from the chapter ‘Suffering & Standing Separate,’ via the text Descent to the Goddess: A Way of Initiation for Women by Sylvia Brinton Perera
In March 2012, I decided to disconnect. What do I mean by disconnect? I mean my cellphone. You know, DISCONNECT?
My cellphone bill was due. The more I sat and thought about it, the more I wondered what exactly my uses were for it. What ‘actual’ good did it bring to my life? Connection to the news (as it of course had to be a smartphone) and connection to my friends via Facebook/Twitter; connection to my family via the actual phone and text?
…OR, did it bring me problems? Problems managing the welfare and safe-guarding of my only son – because I was distracted? Did it bring me problems in my relationship, because past ex’s and old flames CONTINUOUSLY used social media to seek me out and remind me just why we weren’t together? OR, were these problems self-created because I could not cease ‘fondling’ my phone long enough to pay attention to my other half—so busy was I making sure my status updates were posted-read-and-appreciated?
As the swirl of continuous nonsense seemed to nonstop encase me with its end results, I realized that most of my lasting personal problems existed because of my bloody phone. What had happened to thinking before I shared something that perhaps should not have been shared? What had happened to me ignoring the phone 99% of the time, just like the days of old because WHAT WAS HAPPENING RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME WAS WHAT MOST MATTERED?
And so I made an executive decision. I canceled my contract. And I kept it that way for nearly a year, amazingly enough.
As I look back…why in the hell would anyone do something like this in today’s world?
Because I was TIRED.
That exhaustion stemmed directly from everything that I had decided to involve myself in was ‘sucking the soul’ out of my work, my relationships and my writing.
VISION, MEMORY AND TIME. These were the subjects that should have meant the most to me – but because of my little smartphone addiction I had lost the drive to recount and retell the gifts given to me via those subjects. I’d lost the drive to interact in any other way but the way that Facebook or Twitter advertised – quick and easy.
But as the months wore on after my little disconnect experiment, I realized something more strongly than any other thought that came through my head…that interactions are not meant to be easy even when meant in camaraderie or acquaintanceship. There was never an easy way out of the game of life, no matter how much one sought it out. Knowing that, I knew it would soon be time to reconnect back to the land of the living. It would be time to not only manage my need to create on every level possible, but also manage letting people in on a regular basis vs. blocking them completely out.
In February of this year, I bought a new smartphone and started a new contract. For the first time in my life, I actually considered just who would have my number vs. who wouldn’t – who would get to be involved in my life going forward, and who wouldn’t. I left a LOT behind, in terms of people and places and events. So what do I feel I gained?
Freedom. Freedom to move forward, after finally shaking off the various yokes I’ve carried for sooo long. I must admit, moving forward feels good. Sooooo good.
Until we meet again…
2 thoughts on “The Disconnect”
I feel like I mostly catch your reblogs, so imagine my delight to read your original work! So compelling and relatable! And rife with quotable lines. “Swirl of continuous nonsense” is so dead-on. I really feel you’ve capture not only how many of us feel but also illustrate what many of us long to do but lack the stones to execute: the great unplug!
I definitely feel that social media has become an obligation instead of a treat–at least for me. I wonder how many other people agree with us.
Thank you SO MUCH for your commentary, sweets! It was a LONG TIME coming, this post…mainly because I feared rejection of the “whats-and-whys” I had done what I’d done and why I’d done it. Oddly enough, my fears were completely unwarranted. I learned from all of you who have commented (via here and my facebook page) that I’m not the only one who’s felt this way. Thanks again! 😉
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