You’ve probably already noticed this, but I’m going through a life overhaul and I’m taking this blog with me.
There were some minor steps taken in the past, but now I’m trying to take giant, massive leaps forward towards the life I want to live, starting with this big step:
I am taking a year off of social media.*
The fact that this statement scares the hell out of me, shows how addicted I’ve become to this superficial means of connecting with others. It’s not that I have a problem with social media as a tool (quite the opposite, I think it can be highly useful), I just have a problem with the codependent relationship I have with that tool.
I am a social media addict. I use social media to procrastinate and distract me from the things I want and need to do with my life. I let myself believe that social media matters more than it really does, and that takes away from the things that are truly important in my life.
When I took November off social media, I felt amazingly free, and when I came back in December I loathed it, yet I still couldn’t get away from it. I tried limiting myself, I tried cutting back, but it just didn’t work.
I’m an all or nothing kind of gal and I know the only way to break this habit of mine – a habit that has started taking a toll on my physical and mental well-being – is to go cold turkey.
It’s interesting the visceral reaction people have had to my decision to go off of Facebook and Twitter (I’m not really on much else). So many people have shown their own addiction to social media by either praising me for doing something they feel they could never do or vehemently opposing this decision.
“But how will people get ahold of you?”
“How will I know what you’re up to?”
“I wish I could do that.”
“You’re committing blogger suicide. No one will ever read you again. How will they know a new post is up?”
The thing is, I don’t feel truly connected to a single person on social media, so I’m not afraid I’ll miss out on anything. I feel like all I get these days from friends is snippets of their lives, and I want to see the whole picture.
Somehow, along the way, we’ve all been convinced that the only way we can keep in touch with other human beings is through this online town hall of sorts. Seeing short blurbs into each other’s lives is nice, but where is the deeper connection?
Social media is so edited, so socially constructed, that the whole picture of someone’s existence is lost to this idea of what is perceived to be the right and wrong thing to post. And everything has to be summed up in little blurbs.
I am tired of reading little, edited blurbs about life.
There are a multitude of other ways we can have deeper, more meaningful connections outside of social media and I’ve outlined them all out here if you’re interested in connecting with me.
My sabbatical of sorts (I’ll post soon about the other journeys I plan to take this year) starts January 22, 2014, after my three workshops in Seattle.
During this time away, I hope to test my theory that if people can’t find me on social media, they’ll come to my blog, call me or connect with me in other, more meaningful ways.
I also have a theory that I’ll write more, because I am a sharer and without social media the only place I have to share my story with the world is here, on this blog and through my other written pieces.
I hope my theories are correct.
If not, well at least my carpal tunnel will ease up from all the time I spend scrolling through news feeds on my phone late at night instead of sleeping.
Have you ever gone off of social media? If so why? Do you have any tips for me, because as much as I’d like to be calm about the whole thing, I’m kinda freaking out still.
*Here are the exceptions to my year off of social media rule:
- I will still have an intern post updates about paid speaking gigs out of respect for the companies who hired me before my social media sabbatical.
- I will also have my intern post occasional reminders of why I am off social media and where you can find me elsewhere on the Internet.
- Instagram. This is the one social media platform that I find relaxing instead of stressful. I follow very few people on there (I’m cutting back even more) and genuinely care about those that I do. Instagram is staying as long as it continues to enhance my personal connections, but it will go as well the minute I feel it is detracting from any part of my life.
- Every three months, I will assess whether or not this experiment is beneficial to me personally and professionally.