During the entire month of August, I will not post to (except automatic posts from this blog), check, engage, like, comment on, retweet, etc. any social media anything. No social media for the entire month.
Yes, that’s right. I’m joining the crowd of “social media fasting”.
First, I would like to get a few misconceptions out of the way.
I am not anti-social media. I enjoy (for the most part) my interactions, connections and sharing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I think they can bring real value to my life. Social networks allow me to connect with people who share my interests, distant friends and family, businesses that I support, blogs I follow and others. I find real social, educational, and intellectual value. I also find some great entertainment, funny posts, beautiful pictures and videos, and inspiring quotes.
However, there is also a lot of crap on social media: ads, political/religious/personal rants and arguments, more ads, silly games, mindless scrolling, dumb links, rude people, vulgar content, negativity, and generally a lot of pointless material to waste time with.
I want to cut myself off from all of that, the good and the bad, for an entire month. I’m afraid I have a mild addiction to social networks and I want to learn how to stop. In the words of Anthony Ongaro, I want to “Break the Twitch” of social media. The constant checking, checking when I’m bored, when I’m tired, when I’m in line or waiting for something. I check up too often, consume too much and contribute too little. Note: I am required to post on social media for the company I work for, so that will be the only exception. However, my role in posting is limited, so that won’t be a huge problem.
This month I want to focus on creation. I’ll be posting a lot to this blog. I’ll write personal fiction and nonfiction. I might doodle a little bit. I will go for a walk, a run or a bike ride. I’ll cook dinner with my wife. I’m going to work on some awesome homemade journals I’ve been putting off. I will use my social media time to learn, grow, write, create, move my body, meditate, pray, study and rejuvenate my body and mind.
Will you join me? See how long you can make it without checking social media sites. Here are some strategies I’ll be using during the month:
- Delete the apps from my phone. This is a biggie. My phone is always with me and so easy to turn on and check. With no apps, I would have to download the app, login and then check everything. Deleting the apps will take away that temptation.
- Log out on my other computers. If I log out on all of my other computers/devices, I create extra steps to login and check notifications or mindlessly scroll through my feed. This isn’t a perfect solution, but it can go a long way.
- Block the sites. I won’t be using these tools, but if you have a serious problem with checking social media, there are sites and extensions that will block social media or other websites of your choice. A popular choice is Cold Turkey.
- Take a walk. This sounds so simple, but usually the simple solutions are the best. You can replace “Take a walk” with other small things. If you’re feeling the urge to check social media, go for a walk, drink some water, do jumping jacks, grab a book, take a nap. There are thousands of things to do besides scroll through Facebook. Pick one and do it.
Check back throughout the month for more great posts about social networking, breaking the habit and some ideas for things to do instead. I’m hoping to post at least 3 times a week this month.
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