The first week of the social break

“Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.” #

Today marks the first week of my social break. This has been a complete break from Twitter, RSS, Instagram, Facebook, any Slack channels that aren’t work related, Ello, Flickr, VSCO, Google+, etc. and most recently Swarm got the axe.

To be certain that I didn’t slip up I deleted the apps from my phone and tablet. I didn’t delete them from my computer as I generally don’t have too much of a problem avoiding them on it. And I still send about one tweet per week for Plain. It wasn’t until yesterday that I decided to delete Swarm. I do not check my “swarm stream?” but I do use the app to check into places that I’ve been. I figured if I was really going to take a break I should go all in.

Here are some questions I’m going to answer for my own benefit today and likely every few weeks during this break; how has this week been, have there been any benefits, any drawbacks, what do I miss the least, what do I miss the most?

How has the first week been? Weird at first. I caught myself bringing my phone with me to the bathroom, as an example, even though there wasn’t anything I wanted to check on it. I also had my phone next to me while sitting at home and I find I really no longer need that. So, the first week has been a process of unlearning certain habits. I genuinely look forward to feeling perfectly fine without my phone.

Have there been any benefits? The obvious one has been productivity. I had a lot of work to do last week so I think this helped. We’ll see how I feel when I have downtime and would like to be distracted.

Have there been any drawbacks? One obvious drawback is not seeing the same things your friends or family do. “Did you see so-and-so did this?” or, “that so-and-so has a new dog?”. No. I didn’t. And I won’t. So it will take a little while, I think, for others to be used to the fact that I won’t see what they do.

Another drawback has been that my YouTube viewing and News app reading (which I suppose is cheating as this is technically RSS) is way, way up. So I’m going to cut out both of these now too but in a specific way. If someone links me to a YouTube video I’m still going to watch it. I’m just not going to open YouTube and poke around like I normally do for hours on end.

What do I miss the most? Sharing photos on Instagram. Every now and then I get a desire to share a tweet or to share a link via Twitter but for the most part I’ve missed sharing photos.

What do I miss the least? The general gibberish that people post on Facebook and increasingly Instagram. Like quotes about coffee or Mondays, anything that says “that moment when…” in it, “copy this and share” type posts. That stuff drove me mad so I do not miss it at all.

After just one week I’m already questioning whether or not I’d ever want to return to social media. I found this pretty interesting. I’m looking forward to how my answers to the above questions change over the next two months.

Oh, and it looks like Ed Sheeran is also hopping offline. What a copycat!

I’ll report back in a few weeks.


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