Unplugged: My Sabbath Social Networking Fast


I am a very connected person. By that I mean connected on line.

  • I have four email accounts: one for my work at FiftyForward where I serve as Development Director, one for my private coaching practice, one for my personal life (hey, a girl’s gotta get emails from her fave stores) and one the hubs and I share.
  • I have personal accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Linked In.
  • I have a business page on Facebook (Pam Brown Life Coach).
  • I am an administrator for two Facebook and two Twitter pages for FiftyForward
  • I blog here
  • I am member of Vibrant Nation’s blog circle. That means I repost some of my blog entries there. When readers comment an alert is sent to my email so I can hop on and reply. Currently three of my recent posts are creating chatter. Yay!

And of course, all of that is attached to my smartphone. While I enjoy every bit of all of this connectivity, a few weeks ago I realized I never feel as though I have a mental break. I decided to do something about that. I call it…

My Sabbath Social Networking Fast.

I love it.

Every Saturday night, I make a conscious decision to end all social networking/Internet surfing until Monday morning. In the beginning my fast began around 11 p.m. Lately the fast has begun between 8 and 9 p.m. The only exception to this is I check my phone for missed calls or texts. If a friend or family member needs me I want to be available.

The first Sunday I tried this I felt really twitchy all morning. I had to consciously remind myself not to check Facebook and Twitter before going to church (and truthfully while at church). What a creature of habit I’ve become! By midday I’d calmed down and actually enjoyed the break.

Now, I look forward to my weekly fast. I feel mentally rested on Monday mornings.

This exercise helped me make a discovery. I’m on way too many mailing lists. Some subscriptions were my choice, but others were clearly a result of my address being sold to retailers. I used to hurredly delete all of those messages without reading them. But just seeing the huge volume in the queue fatigued me. Now I take the time to unsubscribe from listserves that no longer appeal to me (or I never asked to join in the first place). It’s taking some time, but it’s been worth it. My email volume has decreased dramatically.

I’m about five weeks into this new way of unplugging. It’s been a habit worth forming.

What about you? How do you mentally unplug?

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