Yesterday I felt pretty dang frustrated about having so little time to get my schoolwork done. I feel like great graphic design springs from a happy and balanced designer, and for this designer, happiness and balance is equal parts “time with other designers critiquing and collaborating” and “time alone to really focus on the project at hand.” I was feeling super distracted by constantly checking Facebook, worrying I was missing out on changes to assignments, class time, or events, or whatever else goes on, on Facebook.
So on my drive home yesterday I decided to do something I’d been imagining doing for some time, but didn’t have the nerve to do yet. I decided to take three weeks off Facebook.
Now, my Dad, ever since I was a kid, has gone on meditation retreats every year, taking a week or two to himself to sit in silence and meditate. Friends of our family have gone to places like Gampo Abbey for an entire year to take retreat. So I’m used to the idea of taking retreat, but sort of felt like I couldn’t do that with Facebook.
I mean, there’s all those connections and networking! And my classmates and teachers use a hidden group on there to share stuff and talk about classwork. And I share this blog on there, which is about 70% of where my blog traffic comes from. And, and, and. It’s endless, the excuses.
But the way I was feeling yesterday, I needed some retreat time more than I needed all those “ands”. I needed some private time. All those little 10-minute bits of checking-Facebook, throughout a given day, they add up to the opposite of privacy. They break focus on an activity. They make me feel my brain is open for other people to see inside.
Now, I may be more sensitive than you to this sort of thing. You may be reading this and thinking, “That gal’s nuts! I use Facebook and I’m totally OK with it.” That’s OK. Everyone’s different and not everyone needs a Facebook holiday! But, some people do.
I’m also going to stop checking email after 6 pm. I took a trial run last night and it actually felt amazing. Freeing, slowing, happy-making. So far, so good!