I took a week off from social media and I didn’t go crazy. For that I deserve some kind of prize, like free Facebook credits or a gold star sticker on my forehead. Going cold turkey from social media for me was like telling a nail biter they had to keep those phalanges away from their pearly whites. It is hard to kick a habit you consciously sometimes don’t realize you’re partaking in.
By day 3 I finally realized that the easiest way to resist the temptation is to delete all the easy-access applications and bookmarks to your favorite social media sites. Not being able to just click the Twitter application on my Android phone’s homescreen made my compulsive clicking (repeatedly hitting a login screen) next to nothing. Not having quick-access to these sites on my phone or browser made it much easier to resist. I have a habit of clicking just to click; this solved that problem real quick.
I can’t lie though, I meant to go social media-free since August and it wasn’t until I was going through a rough patch with the guy I’m dating that I had the motivation to kick the habit full-out. For anyone going through a break-up, rough patch, whatever… Hear me out–go MIA on your favorite social media networks (like right now)–it’ll help you avoid the urge to post “Debbie Downer” statuses or tweets AND it’ll keep your eyes away from you-know-who’s personal networks. While the internet stores an awesome wealth of self-help sites and motivational quotes, songs, or speeches on YouTube for the tender hearted—let’s face it—nobody wants to see your pity party all over their news feed. In all honesty, when you’re feeling down the best thing to do is focus on yourself rather than crafting the ultimate 140-character tweet to make it seem like your life is awesome when it isn’t (seriously, that isn’t good for you).
Results of my experiment:
- I really missed tweeting out dumb thing my classmates do or say (like the infamous “pissblanket”), I actually started writing things down in my notebook that I would have usually tweeted out.
- I was out of the loop with news. I was the last to know about Steve Jobs stepping down I’m pretty sure.
- I focused more on the relationships at hand for the week, rather than juggling online conversations while hanging out with someone.
- I realized sometimes I almost feel an obligation to be active on social media. To cut it out was a little therapeutic. I wasn’t tweeting or taking photos of what I was doing, but rather taking a part in it. I saw the world through my eyes, and not a camera lens like I sometimes tend to do.
- I missed using Twitter more than Facebook.
- I made more phone calls and texted my friends more, rather than finding someone on Facebook chat or Twitter to kill my time with, and in such I spent more time with my friends and strengthened some of those relationships with people I didn’t know too well yet.
- I almost felt bad when I couldn’t tweet out about how awesome this restaurant Smashburger was (delicious!)
- I did a ridiculous amount of online shopping this week, I still don’t know if that is in correlation with anything.
- Since getting back into the social media game, I’ve been less active. Oh damn, there goes my Klout score.
Overall I think I would do another social media free week. Oddly enough, I was approached by a professor to discuss the benefits of using social media during my supposed week free from it. Trying to explain certain features of Facebook and then backing it up with “I’d show you right now, but I don’t have a Facebook currently,” makes for a confused 50-something-man left with vague ideas of what I’m trying to explain. Hopefully the next time around I won’t have that problem, and hopefully next time my reason for going SM-free will be because I’m too busy vacationing in a tropical wonderland. (Unfortunately, that’s probably not going to happen.)