Back in the stone age, before Facebook, when blogs used to be a thing (remember those days?) I used to read the blog of a woman who started doing something she called “Tuesdays unplugged”. One day a week she would unplug from online life and just… be. While she was at work, she’d be online if it was work-related (funny how co-workers in an office flip out if you just … don’t answer emails one day). But after work? She’d go to concerts, or go camping with friends, or just stay in and watch TV with her significant other. Lately that’s an idea that’s been appealing to me more and more. Well. “Lately”. A couple-three years now. Y’all know how long I have to think about things before I commit. Think? Over think. Whatevs.
Pros to unplugging one day a week
– no pressure to answer email or messages
– no pressure to keep on top of social media
– maybe taking the day to do nothing but work in the studio (or take the day off! Who would know?!)
– not sitting in one place, insert scare article on how SITTING KILLS YOU AHHHHHHH!!!
Cons to unplugging one day a week
– oh, gawd, the pressure, what day do I choose? What day are people less likely to need to contact HaldeCraft?*
– not being able to answer customers immediately, if they’re expecting an immediate response
– wait, no online anything? No Instagram? Not even to upload a photo, even if I don’t comment on anyone else’s?
– is TV considered unplugging? That’s when I get my best (only) knitting done!
For a long time I’ve tried to temper this want of being unplugged thing with the thought of, well, I do spend hours in the studio and tend to ignore most notifications on my phone unless it’s a friend calling for help with a flat tire or something. So I am sort of unplugged a few hours a day. But then, it’s never the SAME few hours. It’s never like… posted anti-hours, where you can’t contact the teacher between 10 AM and 2 PM, or something. So maybe I need to carve out a whole day, and even if I’m not taking that day off from work, I am taking that day off from online life. But it would have to be both sides of my online life, work and personal, because nine times out of ten, if I’m online as myself, there’s at least one person who will ask me a HaldeCraft question, and it’s rude (and somewhat foot-shooty of me) to say “sorry, I’m online as me only, I’ll answer your question about the $200 custom order you want to place tomorrow”. You can argue that someone who really wants to place that special order will understand and wait to contact me via “work hours” but trust me, I’m speaking from experience here, that’s going to lose me the sale.
So then… what do I do…? I’m still not sure. Sometimes I want to be online, but anonymously; seeing what new photos the people I’m following have put on Instagram, or reading email and crafting a response in my head before I actually answer. And with things like Buffer (when I can get it to work, which is a long story in an of itself) I can pre-post days worth of things, so that it LOOKS like I’m online and posting things even when I’m not. It would be easy for me to slip off for a day and maybe nobody would notice. Maybe. Until I get that one email that’s a fire needing to be put out (the joys and perils of working alone/being your own boss).
* This is one thing Sharon and I talked about a LOT before opening the yarn store. What days of the week, and what times of day, would be the most beneficial to be open? We knew we wanted to be open later in the evening, for the after-work crowd, but didn’t necessarily need to be open first thing in the morning, so the hours of 10-7 were decided on pretty easily. We knew we wanted to be open on the weekends (again, to be open for the crowd who couldn’t get there M-F) and that meant Mondays and Fridays as well, to account for any early or late weekenders, and/or holidays. That left being closed Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. Thursday seemed like too much of a lead-in for the weekend. That left Tuesday and Wednesday. We wanted to be open six days a week (although in retrospect, after four years of working six nine or ten hour days a week, we both really wished we’d opted for being closed two days a week) and I forget why we went with Tuesday, but we did. And can I just tell you that at least once a week, we got someone put out that we were closed on Tuesday? We got it so often that even now, five years later, “Who’d be closed on a TUESDAY” is still a running joke with us. Once time, a customer even *called Sharon at home* to ask if she could be let into the store to make a purchase. This is probably why I’m so sure that even if I was online as myself, but taking a day off as HaldeCraft, there are people who wouldn’t tell/care about the difference.