Living Large Without Social Media

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. 

Social media.

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)

4 Replies to “Living Large Without Social Media”

  1. I admire you for doing this, Brad! Although a long weekend has been the longest I’ve ever separated myself from social media, I found it liberating not to see all the negativity nor feel the constant urge to see who was posting what. To my surprise, I didn’t experience the fear of missing out as I had expected to.

    If I were to ax any of the social media platforms I currently use, I believe I would put Instagram and Facebook first and second on the hit list. For me, Twitter and LinkedIn are (at least for now) what I consider professional necessities.

    One day, I hope to do exactly what you’re doing!

    1. Hi Dawn, The professional advantages of social media are important, no doubt. I was unsuccessful in isolating my professional communication on all of the social platforms. I wish Twitter had separate platforms for business and personal use. If Twitter was as disciplined as LinkedIn in building a business community, it would be a lot more useful, pleasurable and worth using.

  2. Thanks for the update and your good news. As you know, I’ve been facilitating critical thinking workshops for the past fifteen years or so. My observation is that many of us are losing the skills of deep thinking in our quest for social “presence.” What a pity — we have access to all kinds of real-time “news,” but we are losing the ability to process it.

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