Many of you know that I like to use social media to stay in touch with Whitworth Nation. Because my life is full of opportunities to participate in and celebrate all of the ways Whitworth lives out its mind-and-heart mission, giving interested Whitworthians around the globe a glimpse into my day helps keep them close to the action, and it allows me to remain more accessible. A post here, a selfie there, and - voilà! - students, alumni and parents are connected once again to this special place.
But to completely disconnect this past summer during my first-ever sabbatical, I decided to suspend all of my social-media activity. Gone were the compelling pressures to capture every fun and exciting moment and share them with the world, and that habitual instinct to grab my phone to see what was happening elsewhere faded as my smartphone became less smart-y and more phone-y. The phone slowly left my side, and most days it just collected dust on the kitchen counter. The "cord" was cut.
Did I miss it? Not as much as I thought I would. I spent more time reading entire articles rather than just headlines, and I read more books and spent more time outdoors. I certainly didn't miss the political rants and contentious arguments that seem so ubiquitous on Facebook these days. Even now, several months post-sabbatical, I find that although I still enjoy many aspects of social media, I don't check it as often, and I don't get as emotionally invested as I once did. Perhaps I needed to reset my perspective.
I am now resolved to take more frequent social-media sabbaticals throughout the year. For me, doing so might give me a healthier outlook and the freedom to leave the phone on the counter more often.