Last Sunday, I featured a guest blog from Jeff Vazzana; he wrote about ways to de-stress in and out of the classroom because teaching can be unbearably stressful, and at times we all need tips and tricks to help us out…or at least the comfort of knowing that others are going through the same things that we are.
With that in mind, I’d like to continue the idea of de-stressing by discussing the end of my week.
It was Wednesday. I’m in my classroom, on an off period, grading essays when I pulled out my phone to take a few second break, and in five minutes realized that I was spiraling down a Twitter rabbit hole that I had no business stepping into in the first place. I was being slammed with depressing news and information that I didn’t need or ask for. I call it our daily (hourly?) self-punishment.
We pull out the phone to scroll through one of our many social media addictions (FB, IG, TW, SC, ETC), wasting precious minutes of our day, only to frustrate, depress, or vaguely entertain ourselves with the feed bag.
I got tired of it and deleted all social media and games from my phone.
But I’m not giving it up entirely: I am giving myself 30 minutes a day on social media on my laptop. Although my 30 minutes last night turned into 90 as I waited to discuss some dumb shit on my FB wall.
It wasn’t serious, political, or controversial. But I sat back and waited for people to like and comment so I might…I don’t know how to finish that sentence because there was nothing to wait for, except 90 minutes to pass by that I could have used for something more productive.
Either way, the point is…I realize that social media kills my productivity and my mental health. The few days since I’ve taken social media off of my phone I’ve been happier. There are waaaay less notifications at the top of my phone screen, and it feels nice. It’s also nice to stay off of FB for a bit. When I’m on vacation, sometimes I go 3-4 days without checking FB, and it is fantastic!
I see my students, not being able to put down the phone…ever, and I want to start celebrating that I was raised in a time where that wasn’t an option. I know how to survive without the constant gratification of notifications or informational feeds. I am in no way ready to give up tech and go live off the grid, but I can not check my phone for a few hours and be OK.
Teachers, we need to unplug from the notifications. We think enough. We stress enough. We get enough information: questions, emails, passes, meetings. Slow down. TAKE YOUR SCHOOL EMAIL OFF OF YOUR PHONE, and if you are thinking about a smart watch, don’t. You look at screens enough; why have one flashing in constant eye-sight?
Maybe if you try to unplug once in a while, you’ll come into your classroom slightly more refreshed and less stressed. Sure, there might be more emails to check when you get into the building on Monday, but isn’t that where they are meant to be read anyway? Your Saturday and Sunday should not be spent checking your watch, looking at school credit union emails.
I’m going to go; I’ll leave you with that. I have a pup to play with, it’s 70 degrees outside, and baseball is on.
Enjoy your Sunday! Happy teaching!
Twitter: @comics_teacher and @wearelitx
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