The 30 Day Social Media Detox Experiment
A detox of social media and limiting it to its least possible - that is what I am going to try over the next 30 days. To be honest, I have no clue how this actually will end and if I can pull it off. This will be a very raw documentation/follow-up and I won't be trying to hide anything but be fully open about this experience.
Well then, first of all I think I need to explain a couple of things why I want to do this. Over the past years, social media became a very normal thing to have in our lives. It started somewhere back in 2005/06 when I first got in touch with Facebook. Back then, I had absolutely no idea what this platform was really for and I definitely would have never thought that it would take over the world.
With the years passing, things got more and more integrated and with the smartphones coming along, the Facebook app was a normal thing to have on it. After a while Twitter was mentioned more often as well and people started using it too - I did not because I somehow did not get it back then. Further along the road Instagram said hello and added another icon onto my home-screen of my phone. This one got me quite hard and I loved to flick through the feed and discover all the images from all kinds of people around the world and double-tapping those hearts.
Today, I am the full package when it comes to social media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (I started using that one too after a while), LinkedIn, Reddit, YouTube etc.
Since I am into photography and filmmaking myself, I kind of had to use these platforms in order to become part of this new economy. I kind of had to get into it and use them to either get jobs, connect with people in my niche or promote my work. It became a very normal thing and to be fair, I also liked it (I still do... but we get to that).
The problem I started to see was that I am trapped. At least I feel like I am trapped. I feel like everything I do is to proof the world out there via social media platforms, how I handle my life. It feels like all the hours I put into my passion/work is just to get approved by society.
I know that this is a problem I have with myself and not everyone out there experiences this. Though, I do believe that quite a lot can relate to what I mean.
I could go on and on about why social media is good or bad but fact is, and that is what I realised with myself, I am not satisfied. I am never satisfied. It is literally like I am some kind of drug addict who needs his daily dose of information, posts, likes, news, more information, more refreshing the page for the 37th time while sitting on the toilet or reopening the Facebook app which I just closed 8 seconds ago. I don't think this is healthy anymore. And because it is never enough it doesn't make you happy either. Like Dr. Cal Newport mentioned on TED, it is like going to a casino and pulling the slot machine over and over again and the slot machine repeatedly tells you "next time"..."next time"..."next time". Check out the full video about his anti social media talk:
This is why I am here now and why I want to slow things down for a moment. And don't get me wrong, I am not insane yet but I do think things could go into a very bad direction if I won't take control over my social media consumption. Life is more than a "like button" and sometimes to balance things out is quite important, especially in this field. Therefore, what I want to do is reducing my access to it and limit my usage times. I won't be cutting it off completely but I will try to reduce it to only 1 hour a day and only on my laptop. No smartphone access or any other mobile device. To get rid off it completely would be counterproductive in my opinion and using it for business purposes is crucial. Also, I do admit that I like social media when it comes to share work and connect with different people around the world. Sometimes I just I find myself spending too much time on these platforms for no reason because they really do know how to grab your attention!
Let's see how things gonna turn out and if I'll go mental or actually realise how good this can be. I have read a lot of stories already from other people who have done this and the results are only positive. Nothing to lose then!
I will create daily blog entries which will document my experience over the next 30 days and for the sake of this experiment, I will try to keep it as raw as possible in order to see what will potentially change and how I feel about not being able to check my Facebook feed first thing in the morning ;-)