‘And like that…he is gone’

Almost a year ago, I officially dropped off the social media grid.

I walked away from Facebook and Twitter and went silent.
This was my final post:

“After that, my guess is that you will never hear from him again. The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that… he is gone.” (From Usual Suspects)

For the next three months, I did not update my status, share a link or “Like” anything. I didn’t accept anyone’s friend request, upload any photos, or write on anyone’s Wall.
There was no tagging, ReTweeting, or sharing.
I didn’t even creep around, looking at pictures of high school friends just to see how fat and/or bald they are.
For 90 days, I was completely rogue.
This idea came to me after working through a lot of head trash and excuses. It wasn’t an easy decision.
When I was still on the fence about the three-month experiment, I did a little math. (For a communication major this was unprecedented.) I figured I spent 2 hours a day “using” Facebook and/or Twitter.
After an informal survey, this proved to be pretty standard. (Excessive, yes…but not out-of-the-ordinary weird.)
One person commented on my Facebook inquiry: “30 minutes in the morning….5 to 10 minutes five times a day….30 minutes in the evening.”Quick math: That equals 1 hour and 50 minutes a day.
(To keep the next wave of math easy, I decided to round up my social media consumption to nice and easy 2 hours a day.)
Let me know how this punch to the face feels….2 hours of social media a day equals:• 14 hours a week
• 60 hours a month
• 730 hours a year
THAT’S 30 DAYS!
AN ENTIRE MONTH!
If you’re an hour-a-day user, you spend 15 days a year “using” social media.
If you’re disciplined and only spend 30 minutes a day “socializing,” that comes to 7 days a year.
Those numbers were mind-blowing to me, but that was NOT what prompted me to walk away.
Probably the three biggest factors were:
– I started to see warning signals of addiction;

– I realized I was missing out on a lot of things (Example: I was in such a hurry to post/share pictures of my son eating for the first time (right), I missed him…ummm…eating.)
– I started to see all the potential adventures that I was ignoring, because I was racing for my laptop to see what my “friends” ate for lunch.
One of those adventures that took a backseat to Facebook and Twitter was my writing, something I LOVE to do.
Sure, I was posting 140 characters of babble throughout the day, but it wasn’t feeding my journalistic monster. (I could have written one hell of a book in 730 hours!)

 

So I decided to document the experience along the way. I had dreams of creating this “scientific journal” but it turned into eight pages of babble – from the disengagement process to trying to figure out if I’m socially inept.

I thought it was time to share that babble. For the next couple/few days, I’m going to post my “journal” entries on this blog.
Update on my social media usage: Like one of my former players told me once, I’m on Facebook “more than a freshman girl at TCU.”

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