Uncomfortably Numb: Digital Detox as Self-Preservation

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So much stupid. So little patience. Photo by Pinterest

Just casually following the news these days is a major stressor for the average person. But if you are also actively engaged politically, the toll that a constant barrage of unwelcome news can take on your psyche is formidable.

It can, and often will, adversely affect your mental and physical health. When you are constantly plugged into virtual Armageddon, your nervous system usually responds by shifting into a fight or flight response, and when the flow of negativity is unrelenting, your body remains in permanent high gear.

This state of existence is exhausting and soul-depleting. No-one can deal with this sort of stimulation continuously without ending up fetal in a corner babbling and drooling.

So why do many of us feel guilty when we have to unplug for a bit?

We often feel like we’re leaving our fellow activists holding the bag when we need and crave a no-news zone for a bit. It’s hard to put down the burden when you know so many others are trudging along the same path.

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When I sat down here i was 24 years old! Photo by Collider.com

Go forth blinking like a mole into the sunshine and surround yourself with nature. Read an enjoyable book. Hang out with your friends(remember them?) Such simple acts can make the difference between retaining your sanity and running in circles babbling incoherently.

Taking a break from the relentless madness is not only a crucial self-care measure, but it also ensures you can rejuvenate to fight another day.

After all, it’s better to take a short sabbatical before survival-mode desensitization kicks in and your capacity for fuck-giving is depleted forever. Permanent political burn-out is a real possibility without the occasional mental health break.

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Oh dear god he tweeted again Photo by TheVerge.com

So, could you benefit from a Digital Detox?

If you’re asking, you probably already know the answer, but let’s run through a few tell-tale signs that it’s time to walk away from your screens for a wee bit.

  • When you haven’t looked directly into another human being’s eyes since … shit, it’s been a really, really long time.
  • You try to scroll through non e-books. And shopping lists. And boring conversations.
  • Your phone hand has developed into an arthritic, phone-sized claw.
  • When you can’t tell whether that lump on your couch playing Xbox is yours or the neighbor’s kid, and have to check his Facebook profile to make the determination.
  • Alexa starts calling your name.
  • You get sweaty and panicky if your battery gets below thirty percent and there isn’t anywhere immediately available to recharge.
  • You try to punch in your Facebook password on the microwave.
  • Your partner left you six months ago, and you’re just noticing now.

Evaluate your situation honestly, and remember we all have your back while you refresh and rejuvenate. Just like you’ve had everyone else’s when they took a brief powder. Relax. Reconnect with your loved ones. Breathe.

The End-Stage Capitalism Death Spiral will still be in full swing when you surface from your Digital Detox. Promise.

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Don’t worry. All the bullshit will be here on your return. Photo by makeuseof.com

Written by

is a political junkie and history buff randomly alternating between bouts of crankiness and amusement while bearing witness to the Apocalypse. Come along!

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