Offline: I’m on a Social Media Detox

I started a little love project last week to share my late grandfather’s photos. After my grandpa passed away, I scanned tons of snapshots, photo album pages, documents, and slides that he had created over the years. I’m now sharing them on Instagram, which has been a fun way to showcase all of these candid moments that he captured during his life. There’s nothing commercial about that account, outside of a link back to a post here I did about scanning so people can see how I made the slides into digital photos, and I have absolutely no agenda beyond sharing these photos so people can enjoy them.

They’re old and obviously unfiltered, with no Photoshop fixes or white balance correction. They’re also taken with no background voice whispering that this shot is going to get a lot of likes, double taps, retweets, and so on. Just candid shots taken in the moment to try to hang on to something beautiful.

I love sharing things online. I love that it motivates me to take photos I might have skipped otherwise. I love being able to take a video, upload it, and immediately receive comments from friends and family far away. But I have to admit that I’m too plugged in these days. I check my social media all the time. I take photos with the idea that they’re going to be seen by thousands of people and I buy things because I know they’ll work well as props on Instagram. I check my email at least ten times a day, even though I spend all day every day with my kids and often have to shush them or plug them in to some other screen so I can give my full attention to whatever is going on online. I love it, but it’s become something that isn’t great for my family.

So, I’m going to try to go offline for the month of March to give my brain a little detox. I’m still going to check in for 5 or so minutes a day for a couple of projects that I’m working on, like the Instagram account I mentioned above, and there’s a post or two that may sneak in because I have contracts that I need to honor, but for the most part I’m going to put the phone down and try to refocus on what’s going on around me. I’m actually nervous about it – a sure sign that I’ve become too tangled up in my online accounts! Still, I made a big fat list of my priorities for March and I’m excited to start putting my energy in other places.

Enjoy your month! May we all have a few days of nice weather to get outside. Spring is on its way and it’s a great time for a fresh start…

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