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 Media Cleanse – Day 1

Well, I went a full day without losing my mind, and I am pretty floored by the number of times my addled brain tried to log into my deactivated Facebook account.

Number of Attempts:

Over the course of the entire day, I tried to log into Facebook/Twitter a total of 30 times.  Yes, that’s 3-0.

Reasons for Attempts:

Every time I attempted to waste some time on Facebook yesterday, I tried to pay attention to just what I was doing when it happened.  Since I still had a lot of work to do for the inservice I’m leading today, I spent from 9 am to about 11 pm working on putting the presentation together.  I noticed most of the attempts were when I got discouraged with the project.  My brain apparently is used to using Facebook or Twitter as a way to procrastinate and not do the difficult work that I needed to get done.

I also tried jumping into Facebook or Twitter whenever I had an interesting idea or wanted to share my progress on my lengthy process.  I actually felt rather discouraged when I couldn’t post something.  It’s like I had suddenly lost my voice.

There were a few other times that I attempted to get at my social media sites.  When I took a few mental breaks, my fingers tried loading the apps on my phone in order to waste a bit of time.

The most surprising thing of all was that of the 30 times, my brain opened a new tab and tried to load Facebook 5 times without me even realizing it.  It was like it tried to operate on auto-pilot, and I would be suddenly staring at the log-in screen wondering just how the hell I even got there.

Productivity:

Had I not disabled my Facebook, I’m not sure I would have managed to finish my work on this presentation by a decent time.  Thinking about the number of times I tried to get at my social media alone, I probably would have been up until at least 1 am working on this presentation.  Thank goodness I didn’t, or else this presentation today probably would have been more of a disaster.

Aside from the work that I needed to do, my brain began to move toward other projects.  I’m not sure if that was because I didn’t want to do 14 hours of work on the presentation or not, but I wanted to work on podcasting and even a few new project ideas.

Conclusion:

Well, day one is officially over, and I’m on to a very busy day.  I’ll be out at the R.O.E. until about 3 today, and then I have dinner plans tonight, so I’m thinking my number will drop significantly for today.

I did try to log into FB/Twitter twice already today, though.

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.

Juggling Act

I’ve been officially done with my sixth year of teaching at Orion High School for almost a month.  I wish I could say that the end of the year has brought complete solace, but many of my days have been absorbed in working on my thesis.  This project is somewhat more daunting than I would have ever imagined.  Despite how difficult it is due to my inability to focus most of the time, I’m making major headway.  The text itself is fully written, and the next two weeks are all about revision.

But I’m not planning on complaining about it here.  Those unlucky enough to follow my Twitter probably feel like this when seeing my endless posts.

No, instead of discussing my thesis, I’m going to ramble a bit about some of my other projects and do a bit of shameless self-plugging.  My hope is that you’ll find something of interest as my projects vary quite a bit.

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