Should You Take a Social Media Break?

social media tree
(c) from user geralt /

It’s Day 1 of my social media personal accounts detox.
I made the decision yesterday.
Yes, social media is my day job.
Yes, I’ve coached authors on how to improve their social media presence (for business).
No, the irony is not lost on me.
And no, I’m not just going to cheat and ‘check in’ at work.
I’m not doing the “deactivate and see how long I’ll last” thing–been there, done that.
I made my passwords unguessable, scrawled them and buried that paper somewhere not easily accessible, and changed the main emails tied to my accounts.

I’m going to chronicle how it goes on this blog. I’m not sure how long it will last, but I’m optimistic (as everyone is when they make such decisions–in the beginning, anyway).

Morning: So far, I feel a mild sense of relief, like the pressure to check things or “stay on top of things” is gone. I also don’t feel the usual sense of “missing out” because I’m not on Facebook to see what’s going on. I would go further and say it’s liberating.

Evening: Getting slightly antsy when I’m home from work, brain reminding me I’ve shut things off, so I’m reassuring myself that it’s all good.

We all have triggers that set us off, whether they involve foods, situations, or hearing about a certain celebrity, or when a loved one doesn’t do what we’ve asked them to.

So, I did this detox to protect myself from…myself (dun dun dun!). My triggers are writing news items–the kind that pop up in everyone’s feed (some more than others).
I’m removing the stimulus and seeing if it makes a difference.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

With that in mind, I’m going to use the month of October to challenge myself to come up with varied content and offer people something unique. I know it kind of defeats the purpose not to promote my posts on the social media platforms I use (although I may promote them in November as an ‘in case you missed it’ type of deal), but I’m trying something new.

I made the connection between more depressed feelings with increased social media use years ago. This may seem like common sense, but I’m one of those people who feels pressured to be on social media as opposed to having a genuine desire to be on it.

My oldest sibling isn’t on social media at all for many reasons and hasn’t suffered a bit.
If it weren’t for people who only reply to Facebook messages and nothing else, I don’t know if I would have caved in to the pressure from a friend who signed me up years ago.

While every artist whether a painter, writer, singer, dancer, etc, feels pressure to maintain an online presence, I’d like to think that blogging, the original platform, if used well, can go a long way.

Has anyone else tried a social media detox similar to this one or as an experiment or something else? If so, what have your results been? Do you take breaks for a week, a few weeks, a month?