Sometimes You Just Have to “Unplug” for Your Peace of Mind

Remember the movie, “Jaws?” The key slogan for that movie was, “Just when you think it’s safe to go back in the water.” That’s how I have been feeling about the internet these days, especially social media sites. So much hate, division and arguing going on, not to mention the awful news reports…children being kidnapped, devastating shootings, riots…and the nastiness and fighting over the US election.

Just Walk Away

Logging in to any news site or even social media can be overwhelming. Recently I watched long-time friends argue and become verbally abusive with each other on social media sites over the election and riots. Facebook friend’s lists have been declining rapidly as one friend after another would unfollow and even block another friend, all over a difference of opinion that got out of hand.

I am not just talking about internet friends that have never met. I have seen long time, in real-life, friends arguing and being very ugly to each other. It can and does lead to being very depressed by what you see and read every day.

It can make you feel like you don’t even want to see it all and you certainly don’t want to broach any of the subjects as a writer, because no matter what, someone will disagree and there goes another argument. Sort of like, “Don’t fuel the fire.” So, several writers that I know have stayed silent and away from it all.

Has it Always Been This Way?

Since I am now in the “Senior Citizen” classification, I knew a different life as a child and young adult. I never heard about all the horrors of the world and how nasty people can be to each other. Sometimes I wonder, was it always there but we didn’t have all the electronic communications to spread it as rapidly as we do now?

I think about my childhood, when we all played outside, rode our bikes and had nothing more to worry about but getting home in time for supper. If we turned on a television, we tuned into to our favorite comedy or a cartoon channel. Now, even children argue about the things that are going on in the world and they worry about what is going to happen next.

All because technology, and yes, even we as parents, have put all this knowledge into their hands via cell phones that link to social media. Children today are given the knowledge to worry about much bigger things than they ever need to. Kids are even arguing amongst each other over election choices, when the only thing they should possibly be arguing over is which cartoon or comedy to watch.

Walk Away for Your Own Sanity

I am not saying that we should all ignore the things that go on in the world. We need to be informed, but too much, on a daily basis, can cause an unhealthy overload to body, mind and soul. So yes, sometimes it is best to just unplug and walk away, even if you can only do it for an hour or a day. I have seen several friends and writers stating that they are “walking away” for a while. I have done it myself lately because it all gets to emotional and overwhelming.

I realize that many earn their living by being “plugged in” to the internet and all the devastating news that is constantly being published and updated. I understand that many cannot afford to walk away, even for a short time. We all have to do what we have to do for our own peace of mind, rather it be financial peace or inner peace. But it is alright to take a break when you feel overwhelmed.

It is heartbreaking to see the fighting, division and destruction of my country. Many of you that write here or that may be reading this might live in other countries. I am sure you feel the same way about your country at times.

It’s like a train wreck or very bad accident that you have to drive by. You don’t want to look but you do anyway. Sometimes, just maybe, it is best to take another route for your own peace of mind. Personally, I choose to walk away and unplug when it seems like the weight of the world is so heavy that I can’t take any more fighting or bad news reports.

How do you handle all the things that our world has had to face? I found that it was therapeutic to write about it just now. There…I have told you all my thoughts and feelings. Now, it is your turn. Are you stressed out by certain things in the news? Things that are going on around you in your city, state or country?

 It helps to write about it. Blog Bourne members will listen. Just please, let’s not argue about anything, let’s just read and listen with our hearts as well as our ears.


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  1. Pat Z Anthony

    Some do find that writing helps them release the thoughts that are troubling. The world has certainly changed tremendously over the last few years. It might be that people feel they can hide behind their social medial page and say whatever.

    1. Donna Thacker Post author

      Yes, people will say things on social media they would never say to someone’s face. Amazing how brave you are when looking at a key board.

  2. Barbara Radisavljevic

    I”ve had too many other things to write about to write about the election. I was waiting for it to be over so we could all talk about something else, but sometimes opposing parties just won’t let it rest. I’ve noticed most of my Facebook friends — virtual and real life — seem to have a non-spoken agreement to keep politics out of our Facebook working groups. At least I’ve not seen much nastiness in the ones I’m in. It’s as though have silently agreed to not mix work and politics. My real-world friends and I mostly agree. I won’t join the nastiness. When I disagree I try to be respectful about it. I know good people are on each side. So are bad people. I think some friends are sincerely wrong, but that doesn’t mean I don’t value who they are.

    I figure it makes two to make an argument. I won’t be one of them. If I see a discussion is headed downhill, I just shut up. I think there is a low percentage of people who were set on revolution before the election and they are still set on it. If they can’t convince fellow citizens to join them at the ballot box to change things, they take matters into their own hands. Some of the trouble in the streets is caused by paid protesters who have answered ads on Craig’s list to protest.

    1. Donna Thacker Post author

      I don’t mind a respectful discussion of a difference of opinions and in fact enjoy some debates. However, when it comes to nastiness and name calling, I agree with you and refuse to participate and just walk away or shut down the computer.

  3. Francine Labelle

    I totally agree. Since the advent of superior technology such as the internet, PC’s, cellphones, tablets and what not, the propagation of news has exploded exponentially, But one must remember there have always been wars, murders, kidnapping before. They were just not reported and certainly not videoed before. Inherently it is the people who cause and bring all these catastrophes about and the technology is used to expand on it. But I never watch the news whether on radio, television or electronically. I am not a fan of Facebook, Twitter and all these social sites. So I guess I am unplugged most of the time. And I enjoy my unplugged life with my knitting, crochet, tatting and occasional academic writing.

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