Considering a Social Media Break

First, Happy Valentine’s Day! Although I had many years where I had no romantic love on Valentine’s Day, I always looked at it as a day to celebrate everyone in my life who I loved–family and friends. Even though Valentine’s Day can make you feel lonely (been there), remembering that you are not really alone can help.

What doesn’t help when you are lonely on any holiday is social media. Seeing everyone else (appearing) to have a grand old time can hurt. So sometimes, when you know it will be a hard day for you, it might be a good idea to take a break from social media for that day. Be kind to yourself.

This thought, and this article by Roni Loren, made me think about taking my own break from social media. I really only spend time on one platform (Facebook), but I find I am spending an inordinate amount of time there lately. And it’s not useful time. I sometimes just find myself scrolling mindlessly down the feed, not even really registering what I am looking at. My problem is not so much that I check it obsessively, but that I can’t get off once I am on.

When I avoid getting on at all, I can be quite productive. And once I am involved in another project, I can effectively use social media as a reward. “Get X chapters done and then you can check your feed.” The trick is then getting off it in a reasonable amount of time. I only mean to be on for a few minutes, then suddenly I have lost hours to it!

So I am thinking of taking a break. Not completely. I would keep my blog up, for instance. My email is not a problem, as I get relatively few that need attention. It’s the social media. The purposely addictive nature of it sucks me in, and I feel like the constant bombardment of information is weakening my concentration skills. I used to be able to write for hours, now after 20 minutes I find my mind wandering.

There are some non-social reasons for me to be on Facebook, so I think a complete walkaway for more than a day or two is unrealistic. But hopefully I can confine my getting on to a couple of times a day, for about 15 minutes each. I’ll set a timer. I hope that doing so will “detox” my brain a bit an let me refocus on focusing.

I’m not sure when or for how long I will try this, but I think it has to happen at some point.

Have any of you taken social media breaks? How did it work out for you?

Comments

  1. Carolee Pastorius says:

    I, too, am conflicted about Facebook…. checking in with you and other relatives is a good reason for me to have it. Otherwise…political things have caused me to lose friends for the saddest of reasons…yet, I have made friends that I really enjoy knowing. So, I guess the best thing to do is what you are doing, Kerry, LIMIT the time I spend there !
    Don’t stay away forever. I am so proud of you.

  2. Matt Q. McGovern says:

    I changed my approach to facebook a few years ago…now it’s all about writing, thoughtful advancements in the world, animals, friends & family, and nice things. I can peruse the more serious subjects of the day by visiting the wall of a few friends who cover everything in an intelligent and civil way. Other than those few, I don’t need to dwell on such subjects *all* day, and as such had to massage my feed to reflect this.

    There’s a great deal of lather, rinse, and repeat on facebook. Might as well use the shampoo you like the most.

    Do what’s best for you. The facebook detox is effective.

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