Like many of us, I find it hard to disconnect at times.
Despite the warnings about “tech neck” and social media boosting anxiety, I still find myself slapping a friend’s hand away so I can take a picture of our sushi before we dig in or continuously refreshing Twitter when there’s a meme-worthy event. (Steve Harvey, come on, you made it too easy for everyone to make fun of you!)
I mean, I even maintain an Instagram account … for my 10-month-old puppy.
But I surprised even myself when I decided to put a pause on my digital life after a major event in my real one: my engagement.
I was really shocked when my fiancé popped the question last month, but I couldn’t have been happier or more excited.
This is a guy who will drive to Dunkin’ Donuts unprompted to buy me hangover hash browns and puts up with my horrible singing every time we’re in a car. And he just promised to do that forever.
But even though I was thrilled, I didn’t really feel like immediately stopping our celebrating — and champagne-drinking — to update 500 random strangers that I barely speak to.
Instead, I really wanted to enjoy the moment, just us in our apartment, rather than worrying about angling my hand perfectly to get one of those infamous ring pics.
This was a moment to call my grandma and share the good news, ugly cry like Kim Kardashian, and just repeatedly say “holy cow,” which I never really said before that day, but whatever.
So, that’s exactly what I did.
The next morning, my fiancé and I headed out for a long planned Caribbean vacation with a pact not to look at or post on social media, or even fill in anyone besides our close friends and family on the big news.
It was amazing to be able to keep such a happy secret to ourselves for more than a week, and have time to figure out what we really wanted without people chiming in. (“You should elope!”http://www.yourtango.com/”No, you should have a 500 person wedding!”http://www.yourtango.com/”Wait, am I invited?”)
For a week and change, we didn’t worry about standing in the one-square-foot at the resort where Wifi was strong enough to get on Facebook and respond to congratulatory messages.
We talked about what we wanted for our future: kids (someday), more dogs (probably), and an open bar at our wedding (definitely).
And in having that experience, we felt more bonded and focused on what was really important. Not double taps or comments — really, unless you’re getting paid to advertise a waist-trainer, do likes really matter? — but real life moments that count a hell of a lot more.
In a weird way, it helped set the tone for what’s to come: we’re a team and have to make decisions together, and we don’t have to fill in other people on every up and down of our relationship.
I’ll have to admit that it’s a bit embarrassing that it took me having no service on a beach resort to give me some much-needed perspective, but that’s life.
Sometimes we get caught up in the BS and you need someone or something to help you snap out of it.
It’s important to learn to stop and smell the roses, even if you double back and snap a pic of them. #blessed
Kelsey Butler is a reporter, editor and freelance writer focused on health, fitness, relationships and finance.