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A bit of a goal, a bit of an experiment for me in 2016 – less Social Media in my life!

Last year I was feeling stressed and realized the feeling was largely due to too many things vying for my attention. Even little things (like an email notification of a response to a social media post) that were easy enough to ignore or quickly dismiss, would take some time from my consciousness and distract me. A few seconds here and a few seconds there can add up, and especially if you think you’ve dismissed something, but the thought  remains being bounced around in your brain.

In an effort to control these distractions I have been trying to simplify my life by:

  • unsubscribing from all of those “nice to know”, “I’ll read them someday” e-mail newsletters
  • cutting back on automated e-mail notifications (especially from forums that I thought I should follow)
  • abandoning some social media platforms and
  • decreasing my activity on other social media platforms

 

I have been active on social media for a number of years and have enjoyed the experience. The benefits to me include:

  • retaining connections with old friends (Facebook),
  • meeting many kindred spirits, locally and from around the world (Twitter and Google+)
  • keeping in touch with local issues and activities (Twitter)
  • maintaining business contacts and connecting with professional groups  (LinkedIn)
  • sharing my art work with  a supportive art community (Twitter and my Facebook page)
  • having an outlet to express my opinions

 

So no doubt there has been value in social media participation but still there are the costs: my time and my serenity. So starting on 2016 January 1st, I will not be posting to Twitter, Facebook or Google+. I expect to return to these platforms someday but as I start this experiment I don’t know when that will be. I like the idea of going the whole year but concede that I might be back in two weeks. Whenever the experiment ends I hope I will have learned something and that my future use of social media will be more  productive and less of a crutch and time-waster.

I have asked myself why people (and me in particular) engage in social media. I think it comes down to the need for feedback, especially positive strokes, that affirm that we are not alone in the world and might actually have a purpose. It is that constant checking  for a “like” that keeps us coming back to the social media site and makes them so addictive. Even trolls who may not get positive feedback, do get feedback and that response from others affirms that they are alive and not alone. [This feedback of course serves to keep the trolls trolling and hence the often heard advice: Do not feed the trolls!]

On future post I will share what I am learning from this experiment – hopefully something of value to me and perhaps others.

… if you do find this (and following) posts of value please leave me a comment – I will after all be a bit starved for positive strokes with my Twitter tap turned off 😉