I used to envy people who would say they were going “off the grid” for a few days. They made me feel that they had a superior will power than I. However, I am a creature of habit and did not fully enjoy the one vacation I took when I purposely left my tablet and cell phone behind. I felt like I was missing something, mentally and emotionally.

Just as my father loved to start his mornings reading the newspaper during his breakfast, I love opening first Facebook, then Twitter, then Instagram on my lunch break. I learned years ago that this love of social media could easily turn into a Fatal Attraction, so I make sure to keep a tight time rein on this possible runaway horse. When my lunch is done, so is my social media session.

I’m very strict on what I allow on my Facebook feed. I check it first because my extended family and all my horseback riding friends can easily message me there, and I anticipate seeing their photos. I have learned to quickly block any drama-seeking friends that leave me feeling “what is wrong with people?”

I use Twitter to share with my followers my latest article or blog post. It also gives me quick access to my favorite bloggers. I then check out @BhamDonkeys to see Birmingham Donkey’s daily rescue donkey usually matched with a beautiful A.A. Milne quote, and @CatFoodBreath to smile at cat adoption photos from the Chittenden Humane Society along with funny captions. Then @Bodhihodi has the perfect combination of photos of his handsome dog and horses, along with encouragement to fellow writers and book recommendations. Lastly I check the Top Trends list to get my news updates and see what my favorite sports teams are up to. I completely avoid the ravers and ranters.

Instagram is dessert, just photos and videos to enjoy, and I mostly follow owners of cute cats, dogs and horses. I share photos of my own animals a few times a week via Instagram, linked to Facebook and Twitter, to return the joy. As I close up my empty lunch container along with my laptop I feel physically, emotionally and mentally sated.