New Challenge: A Social Media Fast

Social Media Fast = Goodbye, Facebook

This week's challenge is no social media. Thanks to Dave for the idea!

Although I have gotten slightly better this year about not checking social media as much, I still check it once or twice a day, and sometimes a lot more. However, Facebook doesn't always have a tab when my browser is open  and I don't check in with Foursquare/Swarm nearly as much as I used to. I never really got into Twitter to begin with, and Instagram is fun once in a while, but I usually exhaust Facebook before I even look at it. 

What I'll really be giving up this week is Facebook. I already feel a little disconnected and I've only been awake for a few hours. It's funny how when you can't do something, you want to do it more than ever, even if you wouldn't normally be doing it. 

So nothing has changed so far today. I write for a few hours on Monday, then I take a break... and that break is called Facebook. 

Sign spotted near an art fair yesterday. I didn't put this on Facebook, but it's the kind of thing I would post. 

Sign spotted near an art fair yesterday. I didn't put this on Facebook, but it's the kind of thing I would post. 

How I Use Facebook

Thinking about the purpose Facebook serves in my life, I've come up with the following:

  • Connecting with friends. I have a handful of people I reach out to via Facebook messages or posts.
  • Information. For what it's worth, I get most of my "news" from Facebook.
  • Friend-stalking. I like to see what everyone else is doing.
  • Showing off. I'm going to miss seeing the likes and comments on the photos from the race we did yesterday. 
  • Ideas. I follow pages that give me ideas for travel, writing, etc. These are actually some of my favorite posts and I tend to click through and read a lot of articles. Facebook is a like a magazine in that way. 
  • Photos. I find it easier to navigate my Facebook photos than the files on my laptop, so when I want to show someone an old photo, I frequently turn to Facebook. 

If you contact me via Facebook this week, I'm not going to respond. I thought about putting up a post this morning telling everyone to email or text me instead, but decided I can't be trusted to not read a few posts after doing that, so I'm just up and abandoning Facebook for a week. 

I'm not going to deactivate my account unless I catch myself opening the app on my phone out of habit. 

Probably no one will miss me anyhow, right?

Useful Apps with a Social Component

There are a few apps I interact with that have a social aspect, including Runkeeper, My Fitness Pal and Goodreads, in addition to other useful features. Because of their specialized nature, I only have a few "friends" on each, and the posts all have to do with what we're doing, such as running, counting calories and reading. There's nothing negative about seeing a friend's five-mile run and taking that as a cue to get out myself. We all need to exercise more, eat better and read more. I don't want to cut things out of my life that encourage me to do those things and no other things, so I'm not going to limit myself with those three. 

What I Hope to Gain

To tell the truth, I don't really know what I expect to gain from this. I think I'll feel a little less connected and I'll probably take shorter lunch breaks at work. I'm tempted to say I'll miss friends' updates, but I won't, because I won't know about them. I might have more free time, but I'm not really sure. 

I guess we'll see!

And If you've getting your blog updates through Facebook, don't worry. Each blog automatically posts to the Facebook page without me doing a thing. 

Read more about this challenge: 

Week Six: Social - No Social Media

  1. Day One
  2. Day Two (and reasons to give up Facebook)
  3. Days Three & Four (and reasons to like social media)
  4. Days Five & Six
  5. Day Seven