Just Go Left

A Lesson in Disconnecting (Send Help)

Adventures, PersonalAshtenComment

Hi, my name is Ashten and I’m always on my phone.

I don’t mean to be but those stupid red notifications drive me freaking nuts and I need to clear them as soon as possible. I also might be slightly addicted to JJ Watt’s Snapchat.

I’m not proud of this and I need you to know that. Trust me, I hate it when Kyle tries to slap the phone out of my hand while we’re watching 30 Rock and how many of my daily interactions are marred by the iPhone in my hand. I try to sluff it off by saying “oh I bring my phone with me because it tracks my steps”, which is true, but also GET A FITBIT ASHTEN, IT’S 2016.

There’s an app for everything and I’m pretty sure I use them all. My phone has become my social calendar, work accessory and life-documenter (with and without filter). Because? Its way easier than using my brand new (to me) Canon Rebel camera that I basically begged to get for months. (And yes I’m being sarcastic)

It’s not that I want to be on my phone all the time: I really don’t. I just find that, as a blogger, there’s this unspoken contract between us and social media. It’s expected to some degree, that we keep an internet presence at all times; sharing even 10 seconds of our lives at a time to keep the conversation going.

I don’t always use my phone for bad, you know. I’ve been able to capture small, yet meaningful moments that have turned into posts for this blog. And? It’s kind of fun to go back and look at my adventures and reliving some of those memories.

Speaking of adventures: I’m headed to Ohio this weekend for a girl’s weekend with Paige, Simi and Jen. We have a lovely weekend planned: a weekend filled with long, soulful chats, large cups of coffee, shopping, watching the Oscars (LEO!) and…gasp! Taking a barre class (color me terrified). Not only am I excited to spend quality time with three other bloggers; but to document our time together along the way. It’s a trip I definitely want to remember (except maybe for the part where I take a barre class).

As we were discussing important things in preparation for the trip like: what everyone would be packing, how many episodes of Fuller House are acceptable to watch in one sitting, who would be responsible for bringing the blow dryer and what were we going to eat while we watched LEO finally win his Oscar, Paige goes:

“Hey girls, I am planning to disconnect from social media while we’re together to fully enjoy our time. Would you be interested in doing that with me? It feels so good to just turn off and be present.”

Instantly Jen and Sim were in agreement, noting the importance of being present and enjoying our time together. And in my head I was like “wait, no Instagram? No Snapchat? BUT HOW WILL EVERYONE KNOW HOW MUCH FUN WE’RE HAVING?!?!? I HAD A HASHTAG FOR THE TRIP AND EVERYTHING!”

My God, Ashten, take a freaking chill pill. It’s just three days.

But really, the thought of not being able to share this adventure in real time suddenly gave me a bit of blogger anxiety. I mean, part of the fun on these trips is documenting it along the way.

Right?

Right?

Bueller?

I’ve tried to disconnect before. I really have. And by disconnect I mean I sometimes leave my phone charging in the other room while I watch “Cops”.  

But, as I thought about Paige’s challenge, I realized: the world will not come crashing down if I take a quick break. The interaction doesn’t stop and the conversation doesn’t come to a close: it’s just on pause while I enjoy a vacation with my girl friends. My life doesn’t have to be shared in real time to be considering relevant and valuable: the content will still be there (and will likely be better) after a little break. I owe it to my friends to be present.

This is pretty big for a blogger. I would like all the gold stars please and thank you.

So, Paige? Challenge accepted.  I will shirk my blogger tendencies and focus on what’s important: the friends right in front of me. I will not take a single picture of a latte to post on Instagram and I will not live-tweet the Oscars. And really, this challenge couldn’t have come at a better time because the idea of me taking a barre class and living to document it on social media is not likely.

Wish me luck!

(I was told that while I will not be posting on social media, I can bring the Canon to document the trip. I hope you’re ready for a big Ohio post when I get back!)