Unplugging for the Holidays
By Meghan Sullivan
I’m about as plugged in as you can get. I have accounts on just about every social media outlet out there. If there’s a log-in required and sharing possible, I’m probably on it. And I use most of them quite frequently. I haven’t done any actual time accounting, but I bet there is a significant portion of my day spent updating and interacting with others on these sites. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against that. I’ve met some truly amazing people and have been able to foster a feeling of community that’s been missing for quite some time.
Despite being eternally connected, I feel like I’ve always done a pretty good job focusing on present company (the phone mostly stays in the purse when I’m with others) and events (I limit the number of photos and/or video I take). But here’s the thing…I want to be absolutely and completely present. Even though I’m not constantly looking at my phone to scroll through my twitter or Instagram feed, I’m doing it frequently enough that I’m not taking in ALL of my surroundings. I’m not noticing the fleeting moments of beauty, love or even pain in the world. I don’t want to miss those fleeting moments, especially at this time of year. I want to witness and experience the smile a stranger gives to someone as another holds the door open for them. I want see the joyful embraces between friends catching up for the holidays. I want to see the world and not think about how best to capture that moment to share with the masses.
As an artist, you are taught to see and interpret. You create representations of things based on your own world view. Events and images our processed through the lens of your own experiences, thought, and memories. Insta-sharing of events and images removes some of that interpretation and in some ways lessens the impact. By consciously unplugging, I’m essentially choosing to spend some time being selfish. I want to enjoy things as they are and truly savor those moments, tuck them away and keep them for myself until I decide to release them back into the world in some form or another. I want to recharge and replenish my experiences so that I can use them later.
I am taking the last two weeks of 2014 to unplug from social media I’m taking a step back to just enjoy the world around me and truly focus on those I care about. I intend to spend more time with people I love and to undertake projects that have been languishing. I’m sure I’ll still be taking pictures (after all I have the beautiful Miss Sassypants to document), but they’ll be with my SLR. I’ll still be on my computer, but it will be for personal projects that may or not be shared with the world at a later date. By unplugging for a bit, I’m hoping to recharge and refresh my spirit and soul in a way that will help me bring new insight and content to my art and my social interactions, online and otherwise.
With that, I wish you and yours a most wondrous holiday season. Be sure to take in and enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells around you whether you choose to share them or not. I won’t be, at least not until 2015. See you then.