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Submitted by

Bob Morrell on 04.03.2024

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Surviving Cold Turkey: Living without Social Media - Part 2

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Man leaving his phone behind and doing hobbies instead

One week on and my social media habits have changed hugely. After my blog on Tuesday I didn’t check my main social media apps until the weekend, and when I did it was only to check messages. Once, Facebook tried to draw me back in with some Graham Norton based clickbait, but I resisted. 

So what have I noticed about myself? Firstly, I have done a lot more work which is good. I have also concentrated on some issues that were outstanding and made some effort to address them. I feel more motivated to do so at the very least. Things I had been actively putting off, I have got on with, like editing my new book, and I am working through lists of tasks that, much as I might want to, I cannot avoid. I have played the guitar more and learned another song. I have watched some excellent films. I have read a few pages of a physical, printed book. I have listened avidly to podcasts. I have listened to new music which is fabulous. Plus I have ordered some tech so I can use my ancient turntable to play my vinyl for the first time in many years. Music, for me, must take the place of social media. 

I went out on Saturday with barely a reference to my phone, except when looking up vital facts for a conversation. I actually prefer relying on my ears and my voice to engage with humans.

I have rearranged my apps which were spread across 8 full screens, so I’ve deleted loads and reduced that to less than four and no screen is full of apps. When I open my phone, I arrive at the screen with the apps I use most for work and communication, and the social media is in a file on page 4. 

This is still a work in progress. We all need some trivia, but could probably be perfectly happy with much less than we are served right now. I struggle with LinkedIn which is so personal sometimes that it ceases to be a business networking platform. I understand why. When Facebook began, we all publicised our amazing lives and our highs and lows and people reacted. Now, I am sure those reactions on FB must have lessened to the point that we will post our personal messages in the place where we are sure we will get the reaction we are looking for, and if you are in business these days then LinkedIn gives you that audience, and you can write it long-form whereas Insta is still very much image-based. I don’t use Snapchat or TikTok and am unlikely too.  I don’t doubt that the boffins are busy creating the next new social media platform that will fill the gaping void that still exists. What I mean is that in time, all platforms cease to be truly social. They become marketing platforms, which is okay, but we have an option whether to engage or not. If I watch a channel now with TV ads, I groan. We have moved into the post advertising world where brands must catch us with their messages when we are unaware, or not at all. 

I challenge you to come off social media for a week and see what difference it makes.