Social Media Abstention - 2 Months Later
Originally I stopped using social media for 30 days. In the beginning, this was more difficult than I thought it would be.
I didn't realize how ingrained checking Twitter was. I knew I checked it often, usually during every compile, but I didn't realize how often I opened Twitter just out of habit. It seemed that any time I was even momentarily idle, I opened Twitter.
I removed the shortcut from my bookmark bar in Firefox. I can't believe how much that changed everything. I stopped habitually visiting the sites to see that absolutely nothing on interest has been posted, and I actually felt myself become more productive and gain a better attitude.
After the 30 days were over, I started allowing myself to go back on Twitter, and I even rejoined Facebook by the request of others. (No matter how much I don't like Facebook, I have to admit that it's the standard way of inviting people to events.) Although I can use both services, I still do not have their shortcuts on my Firefox bar. I find myself logging in to these services less than once per day on average. I've also cut down on who I follow and who I have "friended." This means that when I look at my timelines, I am still usually up to date.
My RSS feed reader started taking the place of my social media services for a while, but I managed to catch myself on that. Plus, that's not as time-wastey because blogs are updated less frequently. I also use Pocket to read long posts on my phone when I physically can't do anything else, like when I'm sitting on the bus/train/toilet. (One of these things is not like the others.)
As an experiment, I've created a Tumblr account. I follow a few people on Tumblr via RSS feed, so I'm curious to see if having an account and conglomerating my feeds into one through my account will be useful. That's what I've done with YouTube, and it's proved to be useful. I have to admit that I don't really see this going anywhere. Between having Twitter and a full-fledged blog, I don't know what I can really use a microblogging service for.
Finally, Matt Cutts, who inspired my 30 day challenges, recently gave a TED talk about them. I've embedded it below.