Hi, I’m Ally, and I’m Addicted to Social Media

posted in: Ally Broadfield | 11

Facebook PageOkay, addicted might be an exaggeration, but I definitely have a problem. Using social media is part of my job, and I love interacting with readers, writers, and others in the writing industry. I’ve also connected with some long lost friends, and I have quite a few cousins, so it’s a great way to stay in touch with everyone even though we’re spread out across the country.

But when is too much, well, too much?

My family went to Disney World for nine days during the Thanksgiving break (we live in Texas where the kids have the entire week off from school). With two teens, a tween, and park hopper passes, we were non-stop for about eighteen hours a day. I kid you not, one day I logged more than 35,000 steps on my Fitbit. Aside from a couple of blog posts I had to write and a few other things I had to do to prepare for the December 8th release of my second book, I managed to only check email and social media once or twice a day instead of my usual dozen or more times a day. It felt really good to be unplugged, and let’s face it, no one’s life will be left hanging in the balance if I wait a few hours to get online.

TwitterIn the aftermath of my release week, I took a step back and decided to make some changes for 2015. I have a very ambitious writing and release schedule for 2015, so I knew I needed to do something to lower my stress and keep some balance in my life. I decided to turn off the notification sounds on all of my devices, including my phone, so I don’t feel compelled to react as soon as I get a new Tweet, comment, message, etc. I also made a strict rule that I was not allowed to peek at my phone, iPad, or computer while eating dinner or watching movies or television with my family, or after 10:00 p.m. I can’t tell you how much relief this has given me. I feel like I have been given the gift of time. One huge bonus is that I have more time to read, which helps me relax and unwind. I’d almost forgotten how much I love to get lost in a good book.

Do you have any other suggestions for how to unplug?

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Ally lives in Texas and is convinced her house is shrinking, possibly because she shares it with three kids, five dogs, a cat, a rabbit, and several reptiles. Oh, and her husband. She likes to curse in Russian and spends most of her time letting dogs in and out of the house and shuttling kids around. She writes historical romance set in Regency England and Imperial Russia. She loves to hear from readers and you can find her on her website, Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter, though she makes no claims of using any of them properly.

11 Responses

  1. ginaconkle2013

    Hi Ally,

    I like the “turn off phone” notification alerts. Social media is fun but it does insert itself into our lives. A lot.

    • Ally Broadfield

      It sure does, Gina. I found that turning off notifications kept me focused on my work. I blame alarm clocks and telephones for conditioning me to think that sounds require action. 😉

  2. Barbara Monajem

    Oh, Ally, I understand. Usually I’m on social media all day, although it’s mostly retweeting or sharing other stuff and following the conversations on various groups. When I went on vacation, I put all my groups on digest and deleted the digests without reading, and shared almost nothing at all. I looked at email once a day and answered only what was urgent. IT WAS SUCH A RELIEF!! I like the rules you have set yourself–good going!

    • Ally Broadfield

      It is such a relief to unplug, isn’t it? It’s amazing how much even a few hours without technology can make such a difference.

  3. Alyssa Alexander

    So important to have balance! It’s tough, though, and social media can be such a time suck…And yet, at the same time, it’s so fun! 🙂

  4. dholcomb1

    completely turn off the cell phone, laptop, etc… except the kindle/ipad at a certain time in the evening. only use reading device–if not reading print–for reading. no peeking at social media. (guilty of it myself)

    • Ally Broadfield

      Excellent suggestion. The only exception would be the cell phone if all three kids aren’t home yet. I have a Kindle Paperwhite for when I’m not reading paper, so no opportunity to cheat there. 🙂