A few of my regular readers may have noticed that I’ve rather shaken up my social media in recent weeks. By which I mean I haven’t been very active. Sorry. I know you guys love social media. But in my defence I am going to provide an explanation why.
I’ll be frank; I HATE social media. There, I said it!
Well ‘hate’ may be a strong word but social media really, really annoys me! And there are so many reasons why:
1. The ‘social’ aspect.
I’m not a massively social person. Don’t get me wrong, I like people! I really like people! Many of my closest friends I’ve known since pre-school, I’ve always worked in highly social jobs and I do enjoy meeting new people, both online and in the real world.
But I also really like my own space.
Once I leave work, or bid goodbye to my mates at the train station, I love to retreat back in to my own mind, my own little space. I want to be able to read, play video games or watch trashy anime without the stress of having interact with other humans via technology in-between.
Unless it’s my mate sending me weird videos he’s discovered on YouTube. I’m cool with that.
But my point is I hate the social pressure that sites like Twitter or Facebook present. I’m not really a fan of the word ‘introverted’, but it likely does apply to me. Social situations exhaust me, and I definitely do have a limit. I hate leaving social situations in real life, only to be committed to maintaining even more social interaction online. It’s draining, and it takes up far too much time. Which smoothly takes me to point two:
2. Social media is bloody time-consuming.
Travel back in time four weeks ago, and this was my daily routine:
7am: Wake up, drink a cup of tea in bed. Check my social media.
12am: Lunchtime. Check my social media while I eat.
4pm: Finish work. Another cup of tea. Check social media once again.
6pm: Check social media.
9pm: Spend another hour messing about on social media before bed.
And that was my routine every day for about five months. It’s actually sort of embarrassing in hindsight. But fact was as a blogger this was the sort of social media routine I felt required to uphold. And I do have a tendency to become very obsessed with things. It’s worth pointing out that Asperger’s Syndrome runs in the family, and I certainly have a few traits myself.
I rarely do things by half. If I get in to something, I really get in to it. If I set myself a goal, I will work towards it obsessively to the point where it becomes slightly unhealthy. Social media did eventually become something of a focal point in my life, which I hated. Which brings me to the final – and most important – reason I cut down my time social media:
3. You begin to live your life through the lens of social media.
Every time I went somewhere interesting, I was preoccupied with snagging photos for Instagram or Facebook. If I had time off from work, I felt obligated to do something interesting to share with my followers on twitter.
When social media becomes a big part of your day you begin moulding your life around it, and that really, really isn’t good.
Now I’m not going to do the whole ‘social media is evil’/‘take your eyes off your screen’ bit. That would just be silly. A blogger bemoaning social media is a bit like a coffee-shop owner lecturing their customers on the evils of sugar.
Our success depends on social media. Condemning it would be like biting the hand that feeds you. Which is just daft. Not to mention hypocritical.
And social media isn’t a bad thing.
Facebook and Skype mean I can speak to friends who are millions of miles away. Isn’t that amazing? Instagram is the perfect place to share your current adventures, or browse incredible photos taken by other travellers! And as much as Twitter may seem like the domain of Dark Overlord Donald Trump in recent months, there’s still plenty of funny, intelligent and uplifting tweets to be found there. And I’m completely obsessed with Tumblr – but that’s a whole other story!
Some people love social media! For many other bloggers, social media their favourite and most important aspect of their work. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with liking social media. I just don’t, is all.
But that’s not to say that I’ve given social media the boot. Far from it!
I’m still on Google +, which is a superb way to meet other bloggers and something I’d highly recommend to anyone starting out! I’m also on Pinterest for pretty much the same reason. My Instagram account is still live, although I can’t garuntee when (and if) it’ll be updated. And if the magical day when I become paid to write this blog ever comes (or I nab some more free time) I may very well resurrect my Twitter as well!
I’m still on social media. Just not all the time now. And the effect that has had on my daily life has been extremely positive! I no longer spend ages wracking my brain on what say in a Facebook post. I’m not constantly worrying about how many followers I have on Twitter, and what this means for my blog.
And if I explore somewhere new or have an incredible new experience, I’m free to live in the moment! I don’t need to worry about taking notes, I don’t need to worry about statuses, and I don’t even need to worry about photos if I don’t want to. And this means the world to me!
On a more practical level I’m currently trying to get as many hours at work as possible, and my job really has to take priority now. As much as I love blogging I don’t actually make any money from it, and I do have goals I want to work towards – something I’ll likely write about another time.
While I can’t promise that I’ll always have a new post each week I’ll certainly carry on blogging, as I love writing and sharing bizarre or amusing places with my readers! But social media definitely needs to take a back seat right now, and I’m all the happier for it.
So here are my reasons why I decided to cut down on social media. But before I go I just want to ask you all; what do you think of social media? I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Otherwise I’ll see you next week for more strange places, travel tips and nonsensical, sleep-deprived ramblings like this. Have an awesome week and see you next time!
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