One month without Facebook and Twitter

On January 26th  it was one month until my tenth anniversary as blogger. This started a train of thougth that mostly was about how my blogging frequency has decreased over the years. Of course it was easy to blame life, but I also noticed that my activity on Facebook and Twitter was pretty high and that much of what I used to post on the blog I now post on Facebook and Twitter. This, plus the nagging feeling that social media had a fragmenting effect on my family life. My head was often elsewhere, thinking about funny or interesting links from friends, or just good status updates from people.

Anyway, I wanted to find out if my blogging frequency would increase if I dropped out of Facebook and Twitter. So I decided to do a small experiment. I would be off Facebook and Twitter for a month, i.e. until my tenth anniversary as a blogger on February 26th. Then I would sum things up in a blogpost and post it on Facebook and Twitter.

First I should say that it was not a total absense of FB in my life. I posted links if there was a “Share on Facebook” button on the page, and I was on FB for the “save libraries day” as well as conference posting from the Bergen Neptune library seminar on February 15th. I also communicated with a few people on Twitter when that was the natural channel.

But the main point for me was to avoid the checking of status updates, the frequent interruptions and the distraction that FB and twitter invites.

I kept a short keyword file for this experience on Evernote and I noticed that the keywords went from negative to postive as time went by. At first my main feeling was one of lonelyness and isolation. I did not know what was happening to my friends and I missed all the cool links and discussions going on. On the plus side was less distractions and more uninterrupted time with my kids. I used my iPad less (is that good or bad mr. Jobs?)

It was more noticeable that I think in “status updates” – when you don´t have a place to post them they keep swirling around in the brain. And “big” things in life feels smaller when they are not shared with others.

When I try to sum this last month up I think that I both came to appreciate the distraction-less time and miss the connectedness that FB and Twitter offers. On balance I think that I will try to be more aware of when and how I use social media and try to limit the time I´m on. But I also learnt the value of the connectedness that social media offers. I see that I get a lot from communicating and just beeing updated.

On the whole I´m not dropping Facebook and Twitter, but it will be easier to take a short break when needed and limit the exposure to social media in my life.

The one thing I did not get, that I hoped for, was more time to blog and more blogposts. I did blog a little more, but less that I expected when I started out on this little experiment.

Now I just have to sum up ten years blogging.

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I'm a norwegian librarian.

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3 comments on “One month without Facebook and Twitter
  1. Magnus says:

    Nice experiment! I think the important thing is to realize you don’t have to catch everything – it’s OK to press “mark all as read” in your feed reader every now and then, and not catch up with FB and Twitter all the time…

  2. mostraum says:

    I totally agree with Magnus. As long as I behave sensibly around social media, and I’m logged on a lot, it doesn’t have to take over you life.

    I’m sure I would feel a bit isolated too if I stopped logging on, but I also notice that days can go by when I’m logged on without posting anything or hardly reading anything. I also try to use “mark all as read” on my feed reader.

    But I did miss you on FB and Twitter, probably because you’re one of my favorite people who also has a tendency to post things that interest me ;-)

  3. [...] week about her daughter giving up Facebook for Lent. I've also read posts recently about people giving up Facebook and Twitter for a month and ditching their smart phone. This makes me wonder if I have the courage, and will power, to do [...]

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