Back in June, at the start of my summer break, I decided to take a break from social media. It didn't last long. My grandmother's death had me clicking back over to Facebook to post about her and connect with family, and I never looked back.
The impulse or insight behind that decision, though, has continued to haunt me. Although I spend more and more of my time on line, less and less of that time is spent reading blogs and newspapers and other food for thought. Instead, I obsessively check Facebook (and, to a lesser extent, Twitter) to see what other people have posted links to or comments about--but I don't, then, follow the links. I just note and move on.
Even more troubling, I've noticed that my attention span for reading off-line, whether it's a newspaper or a work of non-fiction, has shrunk considerably. I'm now in the mental habit of clicking, darting from site to site, headline to headline, bit to bit, and even this among a shrinking number of sites.
As of this morning, then, I'm starting an experiment. I've deactivated my Facebook and Twitter accounts, and am going to see if I can keep them inactive for a few weeks, at least, and just see what happens, how it feels, what I do instead.
In order to stay in touch with people, I've reactivated the comments at my other blogs, and of course there's always email.
It's just...I feel like there's something wrong with my time allocation these days. Hours slip away, days slip away, and much of my professional mojo is gone. I don't know that social media are to blame, but think at some point they started to be problematic, and the methods I've been using to try and rein in my use seem not to be working on that deeper, neurological-habit level.
To be honest, part of me feels really bereft without those accounts: cut off, isolated, like I'm talking here into the void (as opposed to posting on a common wall where my friends and "Facebook friends" will see and might respond). But as I say, let me give this a few weeks, and we'll see what happens & how I feel.