Opting Out

Sometimes you just have to say, “No, ta, I’m good. I don’t really need/want/care for that.” How often do we take something, sign up for something, that we never really wanted? Yesterday, I was at a street festival with my kids. There were food vendors and jewellery vendors, and a few people handing out free this or that. And it was sort of an automatic response, like instinct kicking in, to reach out and receive whatever these people were offering. Because it’s free, and I MIGHT need it later. Right? And it’s free, so…

But it’s hit me lately that always saying Yes, even to something seemingly innocuous, is not always a good thing.

I like to get emails, and notifications, and LIKES, and tags. It makes me feel special. Lame I know, but this is what happens when you get sucked into the Social Media lifestyle. There is no real problem with getting a lot of information about who is viewing what you’ve posted. No harm in getting email from your favourite stores whenever there’s a sale on. No harm…unless all this is coming in on your cell phone.

I get a rush with every BING and PING and POP! @katnip8 liked my photo on Instagram. John Hancock just tagged me on Facebook. Zippa-di-doo-dah just retweeted my comment. Sure, yeh it makes me feel great! Even getting notifications about the blogs I follow in here makes me happy.

But the constant, steady stream of “Hey, guess what?!” is not good. For one thing, it runs my phone battery down. There are days when I hardly use it, once it’s charged for the day, but by noon the phone is hot, and the battery life has drained to half or less.

Another reason, is that it turns me into Pavlov’s dog. I am no bitch (if Pavlov’s dog was a female…)! But more importantly, I shouldn’t be responding to each and every sound or vibration on my phone as if I get a treat with every thing that comes in. There are different sounds to distinguish between email, texts and other types of notifications. But with every noise my hand goes right into my pocket to take out my phone so I can see what it was.

It’s like going to a fast food joint, and you get a meal deal. The server asks if you’d like to Super Size your meal, for just 10 cents more!! So you Super Size, feeling like you’ve just solved a major world crisis by making this particular deal. But guess what? Not only have you paid out more money than you’d planned, even if it is only 10 cents; you’ve also purchased more food than you could possibly finish comfortably. Where’s the benefit?

So this is where I am. I’ve Super Sized myself into mental fullness, so I’m cutting back. Not only am I saying, “No, thank you” to extra this or that, I’m opting out of other things completely. Last night I went through most of my emails, found the unsubscribe option and clicked. I went into Facebook and un-checked text pop-ups for just about everything. And with each unsubscribe and every un-check, I felt lighter and freeer. Because I don’t really need to know about all the sales, I don’t shop that often. And I’d don’t really need to know about the latest WordPress blog updates, because I come in here every day anyway. I can live without knowing who tags/likes/adds/comments on my various social sites, at least until I have the opportunity to go in and see what’s happening.

This morning when I woke up, and checked my phone, I had 2 emails. TWO. Most mornings I have at least 10. My battery is fully charged, and I expect it be like that wayyyyy past noon.


About Bella

I've reached my 40's with a few battle scars, but I'm still in one piece so I guess that's something to be thankful for. Married for a long time...well, what passes for long compared to many of my other friends. Almost 20 years. 3 kids: a teen and two tweens. Heaven help me! There's a lot about me to know but I always think that others won't find me interesting, isn't that sad? Writing is my passion. It's an outlet; it's a way to filter my world and the experiences I have. Blogging was a foreign concept to me when it first came out. But I GET IT now. It's therapeutic to unload. It's fun to read about the experiences of others. This is my way of meeting and greeting, overcoming the obstacles of time and distance. My hope is that you will stop and read my blog. That you will enjoy what I have to say, and we can have a chat. You're welcome anytime!
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