I officially jumped off the social media merry-go-round about two months ago. I didn’t just push the pause button, I deleted all of my accounts (minus LinkedIn). I’ve rarely done anything that has sparked such a huge and curious response among my friends, family, and followers.
The most common response I get is actually a request:
“Keep me posted! I want to hear how it goes.”
Some are doubtful I can leave it all behind. Others cheer me on with a bit of fear in their voice, as though they also want to give a social-media-free life a try, but are afraid they might just die.
It must have been how the early sailors felt, when the earth was still flat and they sailed off into the sunset. They, of course, discovered the earth wasn’t flat after all as they left behind a crowd of onlookers scratching their heads and wondering just what happened to those brave sailors after they vanished beyond the horizon.
Well, I’ve passed the social media horizon and I can assure you that there is abundant life beyond the screens of our digital devices. Here are three things I’ve experienced/observed “out here” so far:
- I was far too reliant on social media for information. When I deleted it all, I felt very disconnected for the first two weeks. I felt like I had no idea what was going on with anyone I knew, or anything going on in the world for that matter. And then it dawned on me that I had been getting 98% of my information/news/etc. via social media. It also dawned on me that 98% of the 98% of the information I had been consuming was rather useless. For instance, 98% of friends in my list I didn’t know in real life, but I knew where they went on vacation. And 98% of the “news” in my feeds had no affect on my life whatsoever (that goes for news in general from any source, FYI).After two weeks of digital detox, though, that disconnected feeling went away and I started finding new, more relevant sources of news and information.
- We don’t just look at our social media constantly, we also TALK about our social media constantly. “So-and-so had the best Instagram post today” or “I read this article on Facebook…” or “Did you see what Trump tweeted today?” Seems like I hear that last one a LOT. Funny how I never noticed how much we talk about social media until I couldn’t participate in these conversations anymore. And I. Really. Don’t. Mind. At. All.
- I’ve started running into people IRL (In Real Life). Not just any people, but awesome people I haven’t seen in ages. This has made me wonder if maybe they had been there all along, and I hadn’t noticed them because I had been noticing too much stuff on my phone. But then I thought, maybe it’s a super cool karmic reward from the Universe for keeping my distraction device in my pocket most of the time now. Truth? It’s probably a little of both and I love it.
There are many more AHAs and observations to share, but I’ll reserve those for future posts as this grand experiment continues. For now, though, after six weeks without social media I must say that I feel happier, more focused, and I don’t miss it much at all.