There has been a lot of talk on the blogsphere lately (at least in my circle) about internet breaks and hiatuses. The balance between real life and online life is something I’m crazy passionate about, so I thought I’d write something for those of you who’ve decided to go on breaks (or. . .if you’re thinking about it for the future).
1. turn off Wi-fi
Wi-Fi make the internet hard to escape because it’s always there, waiting for you to use it. Turning it off removes that urge to check Pinterest with every spare minute you have. You can take your laptop into another room, and work on whatever you need to do without having connection at your fingertips. It’ll make your internet break 100x easier, I promise.
if you’ve never turned off
your Wi-Fi before, here’s
an article that
explains it for you
2. delete social media apps off your phone
Unless you have rock-solid self-control, or are one of those people who can mentally decide something and 100% follow through with it, you shouldn’t kid yourself about cheating on your hiatus. My mom has this phrase she likes to quote all the time: “out of sight, out of mind.” < < < it’s good advice.
3. have a sibling or a friend change your passwords
Does anyone else have this problem? You decide to take a social media break, you stick it out for a day or so, and then you fall right back into your old habits. You want to kick yourself because you feel like a lazy human with zero self-control.
Changing your passwords removes that temptation. You can’t cheat even if you want to. So ask your brothers (or better yet, your mom because she’d probably be 110% okay with locking you out of your social media. lol) to change your passwords to something they’d only know, and tell them they have to keep it a secret from you. #everyonewins
4. make a list of things you’re going to do instead of social media
Often we don’t realize how much time social media sucks out of our day, so cutting it out completely creates a void that feels like “free time.” That’s why it’s helpful to make a list of things you’re going to do when you feel like turning on your computer. Make a long list, so you have plenty of things to choose from. And don’t forget to add those necessary, boring tasks that need to get done too.
– working out
– drinking water
– going for walks
– cleaning your house
– catching up on neglected mail
5. pick something to study
Depending on the purpose of your hiatus, this may or may not apply. If your purpose is to rest and refocus because you feel overwhelmed, you might want to make yourself tea and read a book. But if you’ve fallen behind on real life + creative work because social media is taking up all your time, then your focus will be productivity instead.
Last time I took an internet hiatus, I did so because I felt my photography wasn’t where it should be, and it had been a while since I did any serious study in that field. I gave myself an entire week to read photography books, and it helped so much! I learned a lot of new things (some of them will be coming to the blog soon), and I know I’ll continue to do these kind of focussed-study-breaks in the future.
. . . .
I know one thing: work is easier without distractions. This applies to education, creative work, and everyday tasks. Social media + the internet can be just another cheap + filler thing that sucks away time better spent elsewhere.
I love being a creative person and I love my work. But sometimes I don’t really want to put in the effort it takes to grow and learn new things. I’d rather be productively avoiding work, then actually be doing work. < < < < that’s when I know I need a hiatus.
I hope this
is helpful to you.