Tuesday, February 28

Going Dark




I’m going dark. That sounds way more ominous than it is, kids. Fact is, every year, I make a sacrifice at Lent and this year, I’ve chosen to give up Facebook and Twitter for Lent—which begins tomorrow, March 1. Here’s the thing. I need a break—not just from social media, but from getting all my news from social media, from the post-election/new administration fear, frustration, and rancor, and from my own attachment to all of that. 

For forty days, I’m going to get my news from NPR, PBS, and other news outlets. For forty days, I’m going to blog on my own website—maybe not every day, but regularly. For forty days, I’m going to email and text and telephone my friends for updates, and I hope they’ll stay in touch with me off social media. For forty days, I’m going to use my computer, laptop, and phone for work and writing, not for cruising around Facebook and being outraged on Twitter. It’s time for me to stop and Lent feels like the right moment.

My current goal for this time off is to finish book four in the Women of Willow Bay series—Sarah’s story—and get well-started on my new book—Hallie and Tim’s story. They’re not part of the Willow Bay books because honestly, I need a break from Willow Bay too. I have a bunch of other story ideas floating around on scraps of paper, in my head, and in a folder on my computer aptly labeled Story Ideas. I’ll also have plenty of work, so I’ll be editing as well.

I’m going to go to lunch with my sister, keep going to the pool, enjoy time with Husband, and make a trip out to spend time with our kids. I want to do some geocaching (totally geeky fun!), open up the lake cottage, knit (I have two nephews who are going to become first-time dads this year and I almost have one baby blanket done.), meet with my writing group, spend time with Dee, and gather with friends at every opportunity. I’m looking forward to keeping in touch the old-fashioned way. 

I don’t do this lightly—I’ve given it a great deal of thought and honestly, it’s going to be really hard. I’m ashamed to tell you what a difficult time I had when I removed FB and Twitter from my phone a couple of months ago. But that move was preparation for this one. This is a different kind of Lent sacrifice than my usual giving up chocolate or wine—this is taking an entire part of my reality and setting it aside for forty days and frankly, I’m not sure I’ll be able to stand it. But, the upside is I know lots of people who live perfectly happy lives without Facebook and Twitter, so we’ll see . . .

I’ll still be here in the round pen every Tuesday, possibly curled up in a fetal position, suffering from FB and Twitter withdrawal. I’ll also be over at www.nanreinhardt.com, sharing the experience with regular posts, and I’ll still be checking out my favorite podcasts and websites, including Chipperish.com. Can’t wait for LaniDiane Rich’s first “Jed Bartlet Is My President” podcast, which drops March 8. YAY! Feel free to email me if you want to talk—all the ways to get in touch are on my website, so stop by and maybe leave a comment. 

To quote Garrison Keillor from the Writer’s Almanac podcast, “Be well, do good work, and keep in touch!”

7 comments:

  1. I'm still thinking, thinking, thinking, and trying to convince myself I can stand to go dark, too. Honestly, giving up FB is harder than giving up potato chips! :-)

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  2. I'm trying to decide the best way to do and I'm pretty convinced I need to deactivate my account and simply take the shortcut off the browsers on my PC and laptop and Kindle. Otherwise, temptation will win, I'm sure of it. Yeah, this is going to be harder than potato chips or wine or chocolate. I sure hope I can actually do it now that I've told the world it's happening. Hugs, Liz!

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  3. Nan, Like Liz I am still considering taking this plunge also. It will be hard but I also need a break from all the negativity and other "stuff" on social media right now. I wish you all the best and will connect with you through your blogs. I'm hoping to hear in the end that it was something that was very valuable to you as you focused your creativity and energy toward writing and other things you love.

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  4. Good luck, Nan. I'm sort of a Luddite so I could go dark and probably never miss social media. The only reason I joined was for marketing my writing. I'm a bit of a news junkie, but I get very little of my news online (see, told ya. Luddite.) Mostly I watch/listen to the news on TV and radio and read my local newspaper. I hope this time away from social media is productive for you. At the very least it will be a change of pace. Good luck!

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  5. Good luck, Nan! I've never done the Lent thing, but I admire folks who do. I'm so tired of the bad--political, whether I agree or not--of social media, but I like the good--recipes that made me realize I could cook, Vancouver Rocks!, and Obama/Biden memes :) --I totally get your reasoning and wish you the very best of social hibernation.

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