Steve Knox: Social media break

 

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat were on the front page of my home and mobile devices. A typical wake-up included scrolling down my newsfeed, clicking on news stories or viewing friend photos—THEN grabbing the paper or turning on the tube for my morning news fix. It was a routine, yet in early September the routine became a rut.

The rut included the on-and-on with Trump and Clinton and why they were either the right choice or the wrong...day after day...after day. But politics wasn't the only rut. Arm chair pundits quickly chiming in with scathing posts aimed squarely at a friend and family with no regard to the outcome was head-shaking. Therapy on Facebook. It was draining. I needed a break.

I took a break in band-aid fashion in September—quickly deactivating Facebook and removing Twitter, Instagram and Snap Chat. My plan was to hold off for 4 weeks to get a 'breather' from the tsunami of social. Overall, I wasn't missing much aside from a few forums that I followed. I started a different routine. My phone was not a focus. In fact, there were times when I didn't even bother turning it on during the weekend. It was refreshing. I found myself back to reading our local papers and listening intently to local news each morning. Instead of having social media on my tablet while cooking, I listened to podcasts or had Alexa (Amazon Echo) play her favorite local radio station.

My plan was to plug into relationships—dinner with friends—just catching up in person. It worked! I was able to reconnect with some friends I haven't seen in a while. I wasn't interested in finding them on Facebook but was intentional about finding 'them'.

I took a break with every intention of returning. I reactivated my Facebook account this weekend but still haven't added Twitter, Instagram or Snap Chat back to my devices. It was 6 weeks. The break was worth it. In fact, if a few of the organizations I belong to didn't use Facebook as their exclusive communication tool I would probably leave for good.

This isn't a knock on those who are actively involved or make a living with social media. I've just finally found my balance. I will occasionally check Facebook but it isn't my go-to anymore.

How do you utilize social media? Would you be lost without it or is it a nice addition to your day?

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