Taking a break from social

I’m taking April off from social media. Maybe longer, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

I mainly mean that I’m taking a break from Twitter and Instagram. I gave up on Facebook a few years ago, maintaining an account with no ‘friend’ connections so that I could admin pages or access groups. Facebook is pretty tolerable this way. I’m still dipping into LinkedIn. Particularly as I follow a new path after relocating, it’s good to remain connected there.

Anyone who has been on social media for long enough can guess the reasons why you’d want to take a break.

It’s easy to forget the mental load that social creates – filtering through the noise and mess, the endless advertising, scanning, scrolling, processing, reacting, all at high speed. Notifications pinging away. It is a drug. I feel like it has modified my brain chemistry and focus.

Good grief, when I add up all the time I have given it in my head, all the time everyone gives social media.

And it has got worse.

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It’s tiring.

So I’m falling back on my own version of the last known good configuration of the internet – newsletters, blogs, websites. Delay over real-time. Pull communication over push notifications. And just not being online. My phone is silenced most of the time and the social apps have all gone.

I’ve been enjoying a clearer head. I’ve been enjoying not filtering through the adverts to see the anger, the argument and the smart-arsery. I’ve enjoyed not comparing my messy inner life with people’s beautifully curated and presented ones. I’m enjoying thinking in longer sentences. And I’m better company for people in the room with me.

I still have the urge to share things. I still have a community and friends I want to stay in touch with. I’m likely to go back. But if taking a break even just breaks the cycle and gives me a healthier relationship with it, that would be something.

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