I’m 16 days into my social media-free September and now that the cold sweats and nervous ticks have subsided I think it’s time to share what two weeks without all that connectivity is like so far.
While some have argued that the continued presence of this blog is in itself a desperate attempt to remain connected and validated, I consider blogging a new media publishing platform that, while amplified by social media, is not on its own a social media outlet. But maybe I’m just an attention seeking failure. Potato, po-tah-to.
Here’s what’s better without the option to report my life and stalk the lives of others in real time:
There’s no good way for me to discuss this without revealing that I have been highly highly distracted by social media at work prior to this experiment, but my productivity has skyrocketed since September 1. My old defense was always “It takes two seconds to respond!” but as it turns out those two seconds totally derail my train of thought and it takes forever to get back on track. I’m a to-do list machine this month.
My music and workouts are housed on my phone so I used to check in on my social world incessantly while “working out” just because it was there in my hand. It occurs to me since losing the option to tweet while working out that if you can tweet while working out you are perhaps not really working out all that hard. My trial month at Burn Boot Camp has paralleled the social media-free September and the combination of the two has been eye opening in terms of what I can accomplish physically when I’m actually all in.
I should really be hung out to dry for this one but I totally check my phone in the car and I kind of think if you say you don’t you are a liar. (If you really don’t, good for you!) While fiddling with a touchscreen phone to adjust music, reroute a map or, hell, just answer it is just as dangerous, I think eliminating social media at least removes one layer of distraction when we’re behind the wheel. It does for me, anyway.
I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten in bed with a book and then fallen asleep scrolling mindlessly through Instagram instead. Without that option I’ve been tearing through some excellent reads and am currently engrossed in Gone Girl. DO NOT TELL ME ANYTHING ABOUT IT.
I feel like I’m slowly getting my writing voice back which has been notably (and distressingly) absent for quite some time. I don’t know if it has to do with social media or not.
I went to see my niece on Sunday and for the first time ever in her presence did not feel compelled to take her picture. Not because she’s not the cutest creature on the earth but because I was there and I was present and I saw her and there was no need (or option) for anyone else to see her too.
This might sound ridiculous, but I used to join the collective consciousness by live tweeting and reading streams of comments about shows I was watching. Now instead of worrying about a witty tweet about Beaver Brothers I just say it to Nick and we cackle uncontrollably like it’s the 90s or something.
Things that are not so good about not having social media are:
- Missing out on news (I had no idea Joan Rivers died)
- Your friends forgetting about you (Facebook invitations don’t reach me, hello)
So far the good outweighs the bad.