on quitting social media

by erin

If you read this blog (obviously, because here you are), or follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, etc., you have probably (hopefully) noticed that I've been absent as of late. That wasn't unintentional.

I've been thinking a lot about social media lately, trying to figure out what it means to me and my life, and my reasons for participating. And I realized that I'm kind of over it.

I mean, let's think about it. I check in on Foursquare so I can earn points that do nothing, while in the meantime my husband or friends or whoever sit there and wait for me to get off my damn phone and pay attention to them. I tweet so I can get @ replies and more followers, which does nothing, while in the meantime I am losing time that could be devoted to my work or my life or, I don't know, sleeping. Now that my wedding is long over, and until I have a baby, no one on Facebook cares what I do (don't deny it), and the time I spend uploading pictures or crafting the perfect status update or stalking people from high school is wasted, because WHO CARES???
Also, I'm just tired of the constant self-promotion that often comes with social media. I'm tired of being all "hey read my blog!" or "hey follow me on twitter!" or "hey I said something funny!", and feeling like I'm constantly seeking approval.

Certainly, there are a lot of people to whom social media is very valuable, for very valid reasons. But for me, it has simply become a distraction from my real life. I have begun to feel like something isn't valid until I blog/tweet/Facebook/whatever about it, which isn't okay with me. I want to live my life, not just report on it.

So I've decided to go on a social media diet. I've pared down the tweeting, all but stopped the Foursquaring, and I'm working on the Facebooking (that one's harder than the rest). I will continue to use my Pinterest and Goodreads, because I love those sites. And I'll blog, although probably less often (if I had a dollar for every time I've said that here, I would have...several dollars).

And there you have it.

But I'm interested to know how others feel about social media. Is it valuable to you? Why or why not?


a girl said...

I love social media. For me, it's been the birthplace of {offline} friendships and a career. But I do have my approach: not looking at my phone while I'm in the car with my husband (and he's driving!) or during meals, blogging only when I have something to say, and trying to log off in the evenings/weekends. There have to be boundaries.

erin said...

I think that's a good approach, and probably what I'm going to attempt. I do see the value in social media, which is why I'm not quitting it entirely. I just needed to step back and reevaluate its role in my life, and I did find that I need to be better about boundaries. So I definitely agree with you :)

Jamie said...

I more or less quit for similar reasons. There's just too much going on IRL and I was starting to miss out on stuff so I could blog or write things on Twitter!

Amanda said...

I can so relate. I think what helped me feel more in control of it was just what you've said, establishing boundaries. Those vary for each person, but after I found some that worked for me I was able to enjoy both my "real" and digital worlds much more :)

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