It’s now been a couple months since I quit Twitter, making an occasional checkin on LinkedIn my only social media activity. The transition is going much, much better than expected.
I thought I would go through withdrawal, feeling out of the loop and isolated.
Far from it.
Disconnecting from social media helps me live more in the moment and is making me realize how fleeting and inconsequential social media chatter really is.
Being off social media has a calming affect as well. The seething emotion of Twitter, once abandoned, is not something you want to go back to. Occasionally I’ll read a news article, always political in theme, that features a variety of tweets from the opposing camps. The anger and mindlessness of these tweets is physically upsetting.
Which brings up a rather important point: A steady stream of social media desensitizes a person to “conversations” that should be physically upsetting. Whether or not we participate in such chatter, we become numb to it. Conflict, animosity, rudeness and illogical thinking become the norm. Once you get away from social media, you regain your appreciation of reasoned argument, consensus, friendliness, and clear thinking.
Given how repellant social media strikes me after such a relatively short absence, I realize the extent to which social media is an addiction. An addict ingests a drug even though it he knows it is harmful, and even if the experience itself is disagreeable. We’ve all seen cigarette smokers coughing and hacking their way through smoke after smoke. Looking at a social media stream is starting to look a lot like smoking a cigarette. Or worse.
Give yourself a break from social media. See how it affects you. I don’t know what will happen, but it may be a pleasant surprise.
(Image credit – Wikimedia Commons)