I first joined Facebook in 2004. I remember being extremely wary of “TheFacebook” at the time. What is this thing that wants you to post a picture of yourself on the internet? Even then I was a skeptical one, so I posted a picture of my dog instead. That was my profile picture for the first several months.
Fast forward almost 15 YEARS (!) later, and I’m still on Facebook with not only a personal profile but also a blog page. Granted, I don’t really update my personal profile anymore, but it’s still there, along with two Instagram accounts, two Twitter accounts, a LinkedIn profile, a Snapchat account that I haven’t been on in at least a year and a Pinterest account that went forgotten in approximately 2016.
All this to say, I am out there on social media in quite a few places. And I need a break from it all.
I’ve written a few times on this blog about social media – the benefits of a social media break, whether it’s helping or hurting travel, why you should never judge a vacation based on social media photos, and whether travel influencers on social media are actually influential. So, discussing social media is not new to this blog.
The idea of taking an entire month off from social media seemed crazy to me.
When I wrote last year about the benefits of taking a social media break, I was talking about maybe five or six days at most. The idea of taking an entire month off from social media seemed crazy to me – what about my blog accounts? I had to be out there posting regularly as a brand, right?
Well, recently I’ve felt like I need to step away from it all, both personal and blog social media accounts, and I need to do it for an extended period of time. Partly because I’ve found that it’s taking the place of real-life interactions, and I don’t like that that’s happening, and partly because it’s become information overload.
Some of the information I want to see and some I don’t care about. But I also think this will be a great experiment for me because I admittedly have those moments where I take a photo or have an experience and think, “Oh, this is amazing, I can’t wait to post this on social media.” But why? To show all the cool things I get to do or see in my life? For what purpose?
We bully (whether we realize it or not), we spread false information, we create incomplete online personas and we do things online that perhaps we wouldn’t even think to do offline.
What was once seen as this amazing way to stay connected no matter where one is, as long as they have unrestricted internet access, is now showing some of the negative and at times dangerous effects of being so connected. We bully (whether we realize it or not), we spread false information, we create incomplete online personas and we do things online that perhaps we wouldn’t even think to do offline.
I still think social media is an amazing thing. Its ability to connect and empower people, build brands and expose us to so much more is incredible. But, I’d be naive to believe it’s all positive. And lately I’ve had conversations with other friends who’ve either taken (or are currently taking) breaks or who use social media less. The more I thought about whether I could do the same, the more excited I felt at the idea. Such a strange emotion: I genuinely felt excited to take this break and just quiet the noise for a bit.
So, here we go. For the month of March, I’m not on social media with a few exceptions (for good reasons!): if someone sends me a message on LinkedIn, then I’ll log in on my laptop to check the message and then keep it moving, but I’ve deleted the LinkedIn app from my phone so it doesn’t become a crutch. Also, I’m still getting Twitter notifications from The Flight Deal, Secret Flying and The Points Guy pushed to my iPhone lock screen so I don’t miss out on any flight deals during this hiatus (why should I let my traveling suffer, after all?). Otherwise I’m not engaging on Twitter at all (promise!).
I’ll report back after the month is over to share how I did and whether I made it through the entire month without any relapses.
Wish me luck 😬