Thirty five down

I’m now on day 35 of my 60-day break from social media.

I wanted to write a post on the 7th, since that would have been a calendar month since the start, but I didn’t. So, today I thought I’d jot down how this experiment has been going. To do so, I’ll answer the same questions I have in each post.

How has these last few weeks been? Since day 21 it has been easier than ever to avoid the desire to check Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Since January 1 (since I had that day off, was sick, and had extra time) I’ve been checking Feedly once-and-a-while to catch up on RSS. Save for a very few subscriptions I think I might end up ditching the rest. In fact, I think I’ll do exactly that the moment I publish this post.

On Wednesday last week the sun sprang into action in the late afternoon and I saw an opportunity for Eliza and I to drive around the countryside and shoot some photos. When we were finished I did have the desire to post photos to Instagram. But that desire abated after a day or two.

Have there been any benefits? After playing some basketball with a friend we went out for a drink and then chatted. I had no desire at all to check my phone. I was completely present the entire evening.

I wish I could say the same about SMS messages. I find myself needing to check and respond to these a bit more than I’d like. I think I’m going to create a routine of checking these only every few hours and just be done with it. If someone sends me a message that I believe will turn into a longer conversation I think I’m going to bite the bullet and call them. This way the conversation can be done quickly and I can get on with my night. Otherwise, I’ll attempt to respond with a single message that will answer any questions they’ll likely follow-up with. One and done.

Have there been any drawbacks? I’m now able to say that 35 days in I’m coming to the realization that there have been none. Zero. Since the beginning there is an illusion that you’ll miss something that matters or an opportunity will be missed that you cannot get back. Perhaps I have missed an opportunity here and there to meet someone new on Twitter or to see a cool photo on Instagram… but the benefits far, far outweigh any of these.

What do I miss the most? For several weeks in a row I’ve been saying that I miss posting photos to Instagram. This is the first week that I can say that desire is waning. I’m hoping that it goes away completely. Will I return to Instagram when this is over? On day 1 I would have said definitely. On day 35 I’m saying maybe.

What do I miss the least? Being a dill weed to family and friends by looking at my phone when I’m with them.

I’ll check back in a few more weeks.