The Internet is a beautiful thing. Coupled with social media, it has completely transformed the world.
The world is much smaller now. Information that once took months or years to spread now takes milliseconds.
You can tweet at your favorite celebrity, politician or even Syrian rebel with just a click of a button. It’s so powerful.
If you’re a creative person, it is a necessity and can change everything.
All of a sudden, the entire world is at your fingertips.
You can tweet out one of your poems, and someone can retweet it from California. Then, someone from Tokyo can read it, and your words or art can pass around the world instantly.
I’ve been pursuing a career as a writer and poet vigorously over the past five months, and social media has been an invaluable tool.
I’ve been posting videos and poems, talking with other artists and overall just engaging heavily day in and day out.
It has been rewarding, as each day brings new readings, new opportunities and new friendships. But sometimes, I feel like I’ve become burned out and over-engaged.
It's often how I feel outside of the Internet, too.
I can be a super social person for a week, but sometimes, I just need time on my own to recuperate my thoughts and get back to zero.
Here are the four things I’ve learned from budgeting my time on the Internet and social media:
1. Airplane Mode Before Bed
With constant Internet access throughout the day, notifications are bound to follow you at night.
Nothing is worse than waking up at 3 am because someone decides to retweet one of your clever thoughts, and his or her followers follow suit.
Airplane mode will keep all the annoying notifications away, and it will keep you rested without the constant vibrations and dings in the middle of the night.
2. Choosing When To Engage
I try not to go overboard throughout the day.
While I wake up in the morning and make my coffee, I like to play with Twitter and Facebook for 15 or 20 minutes.
If there's a slow point in the day, I’ll tweet some things. But I try to keep early in the morning and late at night my two "engagement periods."
I find if I’m too deep in my phone all day long, I feel like I’m wasting my day.
3. Living Life On Social Media
Of course, it’s fun to tweet what you’re doing out to your followers all day, every day.
But lately, I've been making a conscious effort to not even use my phone if I’m out doing something.
Whether it’s going out with friends or doing something with my girlfriend, I try to disengage and give myself a break from the constant Internet dopamine hit.
4. Taking Break Days
I recently started taking Saturdays and Sundays off from social media entirely.
I’ll go on for a couple of minutes, but I usually go radio silent on these two days.
I don’t usually miss anything, and the two days off keep me from getting burned out.
When I get back to my normal social bombardments on Monday, I feel rested and excited to discover the normal social network happenings.
Of course, this isn’t always the case, but rest days are helpful.
The Internet is a great tool, and social media is amazing. But if you’re like me, sometimes it can be too much.
Try disengaging sometimes, and you will find your time online to be much more rewarding.