Social Media: Never on Sunday?

by Meg Guiseppi on January 29, 2010

email

When I recently visited my elderly, ultra tech-challenged father (he still has trouble with his answering machine – forget about him ever getting a computer), I brought along my netbook to see if I’d be able to pick up a signal at his house.

He marveled at how small my laptop was. “Is that a full computer?” he asked. I told him it was. We talked a bit about how far we’ve come with the Internet and technology.

He shook his head and asked, “Is the Internet open 24 hours a day”? Of course, I answered “yes”.

I think he was politely nudging me to put the thing aside while we were visiting. But did that little question of his ever hit home with me.

Yes, the Internet never closes, but I certainly don’t have to take advantage of its non-stop availability so much.

I didn’t intend to check emails or Twitter or anything while I was visiting (how rude would that be!), but I was hoping I could show him my blogs, because he’d never seen anything I’ve done online. Honest! That’s all I was going to do.

Besides, I couldn’t pick up a signal anyway.

But you know how it is. These portable devices make it so easy to happily stay connected . . . endlessly.

My friend Tim Tyrell-Smith put it so well in his post, Your Computer is NOT Your Friend:

“Some days your computer feels like a great friend. Doing all that work for you. Humming along. Keeping you company on those long days during job search.

But it’s not the great friend you think it is. It is dastardly.

It can destroy your focus. Lock you down in a false state of perceived productivity. You can spend hours each day wasting your time.”

Jeff Atwood had this to say in his post, Email: The Variable Reinforcement Machine:

“Go ahead, pull the ‘new email’ lever. Take a chance. Most of the time you’ll end up a loser, the proud recipient of yet another spam email, a press release you don’t care about, or some irrelevant conversation someone has cc:ed you into. But not always. There are those rare few times when you’ll hit the jackpot: you’ll get an important bit of information you needed, or tentative contact from a long lost friend or associate, or other good news.

We’re so ecstatic to get that single useful email out of hundreds that we can’t keep ourselves from compulsively pressing the new email lever over and over and over, hoping it will happen again soon.”

In an attempt to break my semi-addiction, I set a goal a few weeks ago. NO SOCIAL MEDIA OR COMPUTERS AT ALL ON SUNDAYS!!!

I mean, is it really necessary to check emails on Sunday, when I know I won’t respond until Monday . . . or keep up with social networking, when nothing happening there will be so critical I have to deal with it on Sunday. Isn’t it more important to rest my eyes and shift thoughts away from business at least one day a week?

So far, I was successful in meeting my goal on one Sunday out of the past three. And it was wonderful to disconnect for that one whole day. Let’s see what happens this Sunday.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Meg Guiseppi February 19, 2010 at 9:39 am

Hi Jorgen,

Thanks for commenting.

Since I’ve set this never-on-Sunday goal for myself, I’ve been pretty good about “just checking in” once or twice, and not doing anything more. Once I put my hands on the keyboard, I’m in trouble! Can’t stop!

Best,
Meg

2 Meg Guiseppi February 19, 2010 at 9:39 am

Hi Jorgen,

Thanks for commenting.

Since I’ve set this never-on-Sunday goal for myself, I’ve been pretty good about “just checking in” once or twice, and not doing anything more. Once I put my hands on the keyboard, I’m in trouble! Can’t stop!

Best,
Meg

3 Jörgen Sundberg February 19, 2010 at 7:19 am

I’ve stuck to max 1 hr online (just checking things) on weekends and it feels a lot more relaxing! The way I see it is if I plan my week thoroughly, there should be no need to do any work on weekends. Cheers for posting this Meg!

4 Jörgen Sundberg February 19, 2010 at 7:19 am

I’ve stuck to max 1 hr online (just checking things) on weekends and it feels a lot more relaxing! The way I see it is if I plan my week thoroughly, there should be no need to do any work on weekends. Cheers for posting this Meg!

5 Meg Guiseppi February 19, 2010 at 4:47 am

Hey Kim,

Thanks for visiting and commenting. Congratulations on sticking to your never-on-Sunday plan. I still falter some Sundays, but I’m getting better at it!

Best,
Meg

6 Meg Guiseppi February 19, 2010 at 4:47 am

Hey Kim,

Thanks for visiting and commenting. Congratulations on sticking to your never-on-Sunday plan. I still falter some Sundays, but I’m getting better at it!

Best,
Meg

7 Kim Batson February 18, 2010 at 6:52 pm

Meg,

Great to see your post today. I couldn’t agree more. ‘No email and no social media on a Sunday’ is something I’ve been practicing for a while. It’s a rare thing that I even turn on my PC. on Sunday. Otherwise, we’d be working 7 days a week and have no time for the other priorities in our lives. Excellent post!

8 Kim Batson February 18, 2010 at 6:52 pm

Meg,

Great to see your post today. I couldn’t agree more. ‘No email and no social media on a Sunday’ is something I’ve been practicing for a while. It’s a rare thing that I even turn on my PC. on Sunday. Otherwise, we’d be working 7 days a week and have no time for the other priorities in our lives. Excellent post!

9 Meg Guiseppi February 1, 2010 at 9:48 am

Thanks for commenting, Fran, and a good chuckle on a Monday morning.

Intellectually I know it isn’t necessary to check emails on Sundays, but emotionally, it’s hard not to because it can be very satisfying. On the other hand, emails sometimes bring bad news, so all in all, it’s probably better to put it off until Monday morning. By the way, this Monday morning brought a lot of nice news through my emails – nothing bad!

Best,
Meg

10 Meg Guiseppi February 1, 2010 at 9:48 am

Thanks for commenting, Fran, and a good chuckle on a Monday morning.

Intellectually I know it isn’t necessary to check emails on Sundays, but emotionally, it’s hard not to because it can be very satisfying. On the other hand, emails sometimes bring bad news, so all in all, it’s probably better to put it off until Monday morning. By the way, this Monday morning brought a lot of nice news through my emails – nothing bad!

Best,
Meg

11 Fran Holm Hogan February 1, 2010 at 9:19 am

Yep, that’s me too. It really is difficult to not at least check-in. Sometimes I even respond to an email or a Tweet on Sunday. Melissa is right….the quick check-in lasts much longer than anticipated.
Thanks Meg – I’m taking the “Never on Sunday” pledge! I may need a 12-step program but I’m going to do it – My name is Fran and I’m a email addict :-)

12 Fran Holm Hogan February 1, 2010 at 9:19 am

Yep, that’s me too. It really is difficult to not at least check-in. Sometimes I even respond to an email or a Tweet on Sunday. Melissa is right….the quick check-in lasts much longer than anticipated.
Thanks Meg – I’m taking the “Never on Sunday” pledge! I may need a 12-step program but I’m going to do it – My name is Fran and I’m a email addict :-)

13 Meg Guiseppi February 1, 2010 at 6:13 am

Thanks for your comment, Melissa.

Don’t feel bad about breaking my new “Never on Sunday” goal. I did it myself yesterday (Sunday). Couldn’t help doing a quick check-in twice! But I only looked. I didn’t act.

Best,
Meg

14 Meg Guiseppi February 1, 2010 at 6:13 am

Thanks for your comment, Melissa.

Don’t feel bad about breaking my new “Never on Sunday” goal. I did it myself yesterday (Sunday). Couldn’t help doing a quick check-in twice! But I only looked. I didn’t act.

Best,
Meg

15 Melissa January 31, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Oh, yes, this is one I am very guilty of (obviously, as I type this comment on Sunday!) That “quick check-in” ends up lasting far longer than you anticipate.

Thanks for this great reminder!

16 Meg Guiseppi January 29, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Hi Tim!

Thanks for visiting and commenting. Sticking to it is the difficult part. It’s way too easy to “just check in real quick”, isn’t it?

Best,
Meg

17 Tim Tyrell-Smith January 29, 2010 at 10:46 am

Hi Meg – Thanks for the mention and I really like the idea of a day off. I chose Saturday as my day (to try) and instead focus on kid’s sports, chores around the house and otherwise connecting with the “real world”. Now I just need to hold myself to it!

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