One of my New Years Resolutions for 2020 was to remove Social Media from my life. No Twitter. No Facebook. No Mastodon / Fediverse. Removing all such things from my life.
We are now a little over two months in to this… and the results are pretty clear.
Here's a short list of some of the ways my life is better now, without things like Twitter in my life:
I don't have to see all the hate, cruelty, and other garbage that gets plastered all over Social Media in an almost impossible to ignore way. This is, quite possibly, the biggest benefit.
My sleep has improved.
My overall stress levels have dropped in a noticeable way.
I have found that I am, overall, more productive. This might be because I have a little more free time now… or perhaps I am simply more focused during the free time I have.
The daily average visitors to Lunduke Journal content has nearly doubled during that two month time-span. Now… I don't actually think that me not being on Twitter made that difference – that's more than likely due to a few of the changes I've made to the content I produce – but it clearly didn't hurt!
And here's a list of ways my life is now worse without Social Media:
Yeah. I can't really think of anything.
Wait. That's not entirely true. There is one reason I wish I were still using Social Media: Communicating with folks relating to emergencies and events.
The Corona virus hit my community this last week. The hospital down the road from me (just a few minute walk) is where they're doing the local testing and whatnot. At least one positive person in my neighborhood.
With three young kids, being able to hop on Social Media to talk about the goings on relating to that – and more rapidly monitor local reports – could prove to be actually useful. In a very real way that could directly impact our quality of life.
That's really the only drawback to not being actively on Social Media right now.
Were it not for there being a (very) local virus outbreak, I don't think I would have even the slightest urge to resume Social Media activities of any kind. Which begs the question… should I consider it now?
It's an interesting thought (at least to me).
The value of Social Media is becoming clear… as well as the distinct negatives. Clearly things like Twitter have a profoundly negative impact on life… at least overall. At the same time, there are also situations where services like Twitter become quite useful and practical – primarily during noteworthy events and emergencies (like what we have happening right now).
It presents a doggone conundrum.
After pondering it over for the last couple days, I've come to a decision. At least a temporary one.
I think I'll resume using Twitter. With a very narrow set of accounts that I follow – local services, local news, neighbors, and perhaps some very close friends (just to lighten it up).
If the negatives start outweighing the positives, I'll ditch the Twitter again. If, however, the ability to communicate quickly about local matters (like what's happening now) proves more useful than the drawbacks? I'll keep using it.
And, I'll likely stay clear of Mastodon / Fediverse and the like. The smaller Social Networks don't provide much value in terms of local events like this. So not much reason for me to begin using them again.
So, there we have it. I lasted just a hair over two months without Social Media. And it took a global virus pandemic, with local oubreaks right near my home, to bring me back. ;)
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