Don’t Let the Web Hold You Hostage

Internet Down Poster The Christmas holiday was a much-needed break—not so much from work as my over-connected lifestyle in general.

It’s easy to become fatigued by the never-ending stream of online content, messages, connections and stats. I’m afraid I was beginning to have a bit of an unhealthy bond with my computer, working tirelessly to keep up and checking my stats a few too many times. But at what point does it get to be too much? When your work and life are both consumed by the web, where do you find balance?

This leads me to a few goals that web hostages everywhere should aim to accomplish in order to find some balance between the online and offline worlds in the new year.

1. Meet Online People Offline

Jamie Ridler had some great advice when she recommended stepping back and meeting online connections in the real world. I’ve followed this advice, and it’s a refreshing way to connect—with real live human beings.

2. Find a Hands-on Creative Project

For me, it’s finally enrolling in that jewelry and metalsmithing class I’ve been putting off for a year. I never want to lose appreciation for art without the “undo” button.

3. Read Fiction

It’s easy to get caught up reading within the same bubbles of information online. Reading a novel is a great way to break free and refresh your imagination. I started a book club to read more fiction. If you’re in Chicago and want to join us, feel free to get in touch.

4. Schedule Web-Free Time

Every Sunday morning, Jeff and I head out to the coffee shop around the corner—sans Internet—just to hang out and catch up on our offline reading. This is often one of the most relaxing parts of my week, and a refreshing way to step back from being always-on (although I’ll admit, it can be hard to resist the urge to send a mobile tweet every now and then).

What do you do to find balance? Do you have any goals for the new year?

Photo Source: Leia under Creative Commons

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