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A Week Without Facebook & Twitter

By Saturday 5 April 2014Life, Technology, The Web

I banned myself from Facebook and Twitter for a week. I felt like social media was taking up too much of my time and that it was too accessible (being available on my phone, tablet, through the internet, etc.). I used the week to reevaluate my relationship with social media: how I use it, how often I use it and what I use it for. What I learned about myself, Facebook and Twitter was fascinating.

Antony-Simpson-Writer My Relationship with Social Media
The week off social media has caused me to realise a few things:

1. Facebook & Twitter are the main sites I visit on the web.

2. I hate incorrect information on the social media sites along with hateful comments/status’/groups. As an example, my friends were sharing a group called KGT (Kill Gays Today) on Facebook, with good intentions. They were sharing it to encourage people to report it, so that it would get banned. But having seen a few of these hateful groups shared recently, I honestly just don’t want to see another. Ever.

3. I check social media, while doing other things at the same time. This means that social media wasn’t taking up as much time as I thought – and – that giving them up didn’t give me a load of free time back.

4. Checking social media distracts me from activities were I need a high level of concentration, such as writing. So I did benefit for a whole week of not being distracted while writing.

5. I had to stop myself throughout the week from habitually checking Facebook & Twitter, which made me realise that I use them daily.

6. I found myself making excuses to myself to check them and then forcing myself not to, behaviours common with a developing addiction.

7. I found out that I do like seeing what people are up to without having to speak to them.

8. I love unique content people create and share on Facebook & Twitter, but sometimes I just wish there was more of it.

facebook-logo Facebook’s Sneaky Tricks
Facebook used sneaky tricks to try and make me go on it. First in a week it gave me 30+ notifications, all cleverly worded to make me feel like I was missing out. I had posted a status update saying I wouldn’t be on for the week; yet friends continued to message me, tag me, etc. This caused me to question how many of my friend’s actually see my status updates? I realised that I felt more identifiable on Facebook, so was more likely to be cautious about what I post/share on there.
twitter-logo Twitter’s Lack of Appeal
I have to admit that I barely noticed not using Twitter. I only received 3 notifications all week. My pet hates on Twitter are: the 140 character limit, the shameless self promotion by some, the lack of pictures/photos and the bad filtering of my home page feed. I actually realised I could live without Twitter in my life, if it wasn’t for the number of Publisher’s Publicists on there.

Giving up Facebook and Twitter has made me more aware of social media’s limitations and the temptation to overindulge. I love the unique content people make and share; so I shall be the change I want to see. Later on in the year I’ll be sharing/tweeting some of my short stories I’ve been writing, and continue to share my journalism articles with you all.

Blog soon,

Antony



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2 Comments

  • Urbangay says:

    Well done! I think we need more a critical debate about the positives and negatives of social media. I’m off gay websites for 30 days at the moment… the addiction has faded, but it’s still sometimes hard!

  • Antony says:

    Hi Urbangay,

    Thanks for the comment.

    Wow 30 days of no gay websites, that must be difficult. I tend to use Facebook & Twitter more than gay social media/dating/meet up sites. The main gay website I’d say I use is The Gay UK, for news and entertainment.

    I’ve had a quick read of you’re blog 🙂 and added to my ‘Blogs of Interest’ list on the sidebar, so know that I’ll be checking by often.

    A x

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