A weekly report about my 99 Days Without Facebook challenge. 93 days to go and rolling.
Monday August 18.
OK – the first thing I had to do in this social media fast was delete all – and I do mean all – of the quick-links and bookmarks to all social media sites. It wasn’t a problem this weekend – had a housefull of company – but first thing Monday morning, my routine was to check the weekend stats, run though my friend list for comments etc and generally catch-up on anything I missed.
Withdrawal pangs ensue. This is a friggin’ addiction. And I realize it may be tougher than it sounds to just quit cold-turkey. I have always bounced in and out (every few hours) of the various sites “just checking” even if I didn’t participate. It was nice to keep a finger on the pulse of “stuff”.
I’m hoping it’s like quitting smoking or another bad-for-you habit. The worst part is the first few days/weeks when there’s nothing to fully replace the kick of stimulation (and envy, and greed, and longing and sadness and…) You know, all the things you feel when you browse the social media stream. I’m trying to remember what this replaced and failing. I’ll get back to you when whatever it is kicks in.
For now though, the morning’s web chores are done. The various sites are still up and running, spammers sent to their special place in electronic-purgatory, the insect id pages approved or deleted for getting id’s (6 for 6 were deleted this morning because of no pictures, no descriptions or no emails and I wonder sometimes if people even bother to read the instructions but I digress)
I wonder if I’ll get really grumpy with this withdrawal (like quitting smoking or dieting) or whether it will all fade away gracefully? This week will tell the tale. More to come.
Note: I just realized this blog post goes automatically to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Wondering whether to cut it off or leave it? Decide to leave it for the moment. I’m not there responding so… (yeah, gray area of the rules)
Wednesday Aug 20
I still have withdrawal pangs and the urge to take a break by “just checking” to see what my readers were saying or how many likes I had since the last time I checked an hour ago.
But there are no quick links to my accounts and I’d have to manually sign into each one as I’ve reset the history, cache and password memories on my browsers.
I haven’t peeked or checked.
But I’ve gone through my latest manuscript several times hunting down excessive word useage and written several thousand words a day as well. So yes, productivity is well and comfortably up.
But it’s early days yet.
Friday Aug 22
Withdrawal symptoms slacking off. I no longer feel the urge to click on the non-existent bookmarks. The apps have been “disappeared” on my phone and ipad – gone, whacked.
The news about Twitter becoming more like Facebook and modifying what’s in your timeline hit the news this week and this was a confirmation to me that continuing to use social media means giving up more and more control to others. I’m not sure I want to do this.
Have been extremely productive this week. If the rest of the days are anything like this, I’ll have to really consider the nature of my involvement with social media.
Not only have I written a great many words, but I’ve had some dynamite ideas for some future projects, solved a major problem with a current project and am about halfway through editing a manuscript. (Yeah, let’s hear it for Scrivener and it’s text-analysis capacity) 🙂
The niggling feeling about missing things is still there – but fading. I have hopes I won’t care about missing all the latest gossip and given my reading capacity is still high (and maybe rising) I’m getting a full dose of publishing and tech news that’s needed for my current work.
Bottom line. I’m pleased with the first week. Words are up. Editing is up. Ideas are up.
But yes, it’s still early days and I have a feeling there are things that will wax and wane as the remaining 93 days passes.