I was going to call this post Not-so Social Media, but then I thought that might sound like I was being all negative (when, in fact, I’ve had quite enough of negativity lately). So I settled on ‘An Experiment,’ because I have just started an experiment of sorts – one that I personally find quite challenging due to my
addiction to love of social media. (More on that in a minute.)
Lately, however, that ‘love’ has turned into more of a love/hate relationship. Especially where Twitter is concerned. Don’t get me wrong, I suspect I’ll always enjoy using Twitter – or whatever the new thing is that will, I’m pretty sure, one day replace it in our fickle, social media-obsessed affections – but I just need a rest. A break from the online onslaught.
I’d like to say, “It’s not you, Twitter, it’s me.”
But that wouldn’t exactly be true.
In part, I’m sure that my falling-just-a-little-out-of-love with social media is very likely down to some personal changes, but I have to admit to getting somewhat… tired of the endless barrage of information. Also, and perhaps more to the point, the pretty constant stream of negativity. I knew it was time to draw the line (for a while) when I found myself getting drawn into the negative vibes, rather than simply nodding my head quietly from the sidelines. Actually (gasp!) joining in various debates; becoming more vocal and opinionated about all kinds of issues, not only those that relate to the writing world. That’s just not like me, so warning bells have been going off…
And it’s not only that, it is simply the sheer volume of stuff that is starting to overwhelm me. I am an introvert. I get totally drained in Real Life when exposed to too much ‘input’ – especially as it relates to socializing and dealing with other people.
More and more, I’m noticing those same feelings of exhaustion leaking into my ‘online life.’ Sometimes it feels like I can barely stay afloat amid the sea of information and news and updates and links and debates and… and… just ALL THE STUFF. You know?
Yeah, like that.
So, I need a solution. Not necessarily something that will be forever, just something that might allow me a bit of breathing space.
In short: I am taking the whole of September off from most social media. Definitely no Twitter – apart from tweeting links to blog posts I might write. (That’s allowed. They’re my rules, after all.)
I’ve already not been on there all day yesterday and most of today. I have to admit that I genuinely haven’t missed it. That’s a real first for me, and I think it just makes me realize how burnt out on it all I have truly become. I even hid the app on my phone!
My Facebook ‘presence’ is only an author page, so it’s not like I have a ton of stuff to read through from others. I expect I’ll continue to link to blog posts on FB, and possibly one or two short entries that are specifically book-related. But, no more than that until 1st October 2013. That’s when I’ll be back, hopefully refreshed and recharged.
The main part of the experiment here is to see if I can stay away from Twitter for just one month – resist the temptation to tweet every article of interest, comment on everything that my friends and followers say, retweet and ‘favorite’ all the juicy stuff I never get around to reading until much later anyway. If ever.
Now, blogging… Blogging I’ll still do. In fact, I’m hoping that my ‘Twittercation’ will encourage me to blog a bit more than usual. I like blogging – or, at least, I used to – but things like Twitter make it so much easier to grasp the instant gratification of the immediate status update (in 140 characters or less), without thinking before speaking. Blogging encourages some thought. I can also save up all the links and bits & pieces that I might normally tweet, and put them in a longer blog post. That’s what Post-it notes are for, right?
So, for the next few weeks I’ll be doing a little less of this:
And a lot more of this:
(Apart from another round of revisions on Hunting the Dark, I am also developing a novel that I think needs more room to expand. It’s simmering nicely, but I feel the desire to separate myself from the usual online haunts. I want more engagement with the Real World. My intuition is telling me to focus on writing as fully as I can for the next month… See where that takes me.)
Which means there will hopefully be lots of time for this:
I won’t exactly be all the way down here, though:
I’m not going that far! The Cave is reserved for Desperate Times or Deadline/Revision Hell, and this is more a case of, ‘Kaz needs a bit less online static to deal with for a while.’ You’ll definitely be able to reach me through blog comments here or on my own site and email. It’s not like I’m disappearing entirely – I like being plugged in too much! (Which is maybe part of the problem.)
Has anyone tried something similar? How did you get on?
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