Celebrating My Month Hiatus Away From Social Media
Today marks my one month hiatus away from social media. Well, technically speaking it’s more a one month hiatus away from personal use of Facebook and Twitter. I still continued my love affair with blogging and every now and again, LinkedIn. For someone who was ingrained in social media personally and professionally since college, it was kind of a big deal for me to spend this much time intentionally away. Still, I felt it was necessary because I think social media became more of a part of my personal life than I honestly wanted it to be.
How do you view social media in your personal life? Do you think you use it too much? Is it a part of your identity?
For me, a break was needed but even during this one month, it has been quite an experience to see how social media literally fit into my daily life. A simple example I always give is that rather than email me details, some of my friends would let me know that they send me communications through Facebook message and even during my Facebook hiatus, more than once, I went on Facebook to retrieve the message. Thus, there was a real lack of purity to this hiatus.
As it turns out – social media was more than just a part of my identity, a professional tool, and a hobby, it was and is an integral part of my communication.
Still, here’s what I’ve learned so far in my month hiatus:
- I SPENT WAY TOO MUCH TIME ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER!
- Part of how I constructed my identity was more integral in social media than I liked, and liked to admit
- My personal use of Facebook and Twitter became less a tool of self-expression in its authenticity and rather a tool of expression to an audience
- I actually did miss social media to the extent that I felt I was less connected to people
- I became more intentional about my interactions with friends yet lost an easy way to relate and keep up with friends.
- I love social media but my use of it was not in moderation and taking a break, might allow me to place it in it’s right context in my personal use upon my return
So I’ve decided that I won’t get back on social media until November 7th or November 8th – go figure. (I guess one thing I have thoroughly enjoyed is avoiding the over-politicization of Facebook and Twitter because of the elections). Overall, I guess what I can say I have gained from my hiatus is that I think it’s so easy to be focused on our digital identities as Gen Y’s, as a twenty something, rather than keep social media use in moderation, like most tools of communication.
What do you think? Have you ever taken intentional time off a social media platform? What did you learn if you did? And do you think we rely far too much on social media to relate with others and define ourselves?