Social Media Cleanse – Days 2 & 3

Three days are down, and things are getting a little bit easier.

Number of Attempts:

On Thursday I only tried to log into social media a total of eight times.  I credit that in part to having a very busy day and night.  During the course of today’s less busy day, I tried to log in a total of ten times.

Reasons for Attempts:

Unlike Wednesday, where I was trying to avoid my preparation for my inservice presentation, I was pretty much busy actually giving the presentation (which went rather well!).  My first attempt were in the morning, which is normally my ritual time to wake up and check what everyone else was up to while I was asleep.

Aside from that, during lunch at the inservice I nervously kept somewhat to my phone, and my attempts to log into Facebook obviously led me instead to making awkward small talk.

Thursday night I went out on a date to the movies, and since we got there early, I once again fell prey to immediately going to my phone.

Today was a bit different.  I decided on a whim that I’ll be heading to Gen Con once again, which is in a short five days, so instead of social media, I spent most of today on the website picking out my activities.

Productivity:

I think I’m starting to realize I can’t log in to my Facebook right now, so I’m making fewer attempts at wasting my time there.  Instead today I managed to finish writing a podcast episode, beat a video game, and finish one of the five books I’m concurrently reading at the moment.  The presentation itself went well, and I think the extra time I put into the presentation combined with getting a decent amount of sleep by keeping on task really helped out.

Conclusion:

I feel a little bit better about this not having constant access to social media.  That being said, there are still so many things I want to post and talk about.  It does make me wonder, though, why myself and others are so concerned with telling the rest of the world what we’re doing.  It’s as if we need others to know that we’re busy, that we’re accomplishing things, that we’re still alive.  Perhaps that’s what keeps us going back to our feeds, or maybe it’s just a really bad habit that our society just can’t break.

Social Experiment – Week Cleanse of Facebook & Twitter

Facebook is a drug.

Okay, well, not just Facebook, but social media in general.  Don’t get me wrong.  Social media has a ton of positives, and I think we live in a society where it’s much easier to keep up with others by following their daily statuses due to how busy our schedules are day to day.

That being said, just how much of our daily free time is consumed by social media?  According to an article last year on MSNBC, Americans spend an average of 40 minutes a day on Facebook.  That’s close to 3% of a person’s day spent staring at your feed.  Combine that with all the other websites and social media outlets out there, and you have a very distracted country.

This week I’ve been working on preparing for presenting an in-service at a local R.O.E. on the topic of standards-based grading.  Like my students, I procrastinated until the weeks leading up to the event.  Now with a few days to go, I noticed that I was distracted from my work at least two dozen times by checking on my messages and feed.  I’m not saying that I would absolutely have kept on task and not been distracted by other things on the internet, but for me (and I’m sure many others), I can’t help randomly checking on Facebook when I’m supposed to be doing something else.

To be clear, I have no intention of permanently saying goodbye to my Facebook until it goes the way of Myspace or LiveJournal.  However, it did beg the question of whether or not I could be more productive without the influence of Facebook always being there.

So that leads me to my social experiment.  Starting tomorrow, I’m deactivating my Facebook account for a week.  I’m planning on setting it up to reactivate in exactly 7 days.  Each day, I’m going to keep track of all that I’ve accomplished and see if social media is actually negatively affecting me.

Here’s my plan:

  1. I’m going to deactivate my Facebook and have someone change my Twitter account password.  I’ll keep them closed for a week.
  2. The only time I’m allowing myself to use social media is for updating information for my podcast Shadowvane.
  3. I will keep track of the number of times I attempt to check my social media since I know I’m going to forget that I locked them.
  4. I’ll write a short post here each day to detail what I accomplished, how I spent my free time, and how I feel without having access to FB/Twitter.

Over the course of the next seven days, I hope to be able to do more.  This will hopefully include much needed house work and projects, podcast writing, catching up on reading, get to some of my massive video game library, and preparing for the upcoming school year.

I managed to only check Facebook twice while writing this post!  Here’s hoping the experiment yields positive results and makes others consider how much time they spend on social media.