Monday, 17 March 2014

Giving Up Interacting on Social Media for Lent - Week 2

Myself and my friend Simon have given up interacting on social media for Lent. You can read our first post here.

Two weeks in now... how have we been doing?
Me writing this post, not missing Facebook.

I still have to go into Facebook and Twitter daily to maintain pages for my clients. On Facebook it is hard no to notice the increasing number of comments, private messages and friend requests building up... but I find that actually, I don't much care. I sincerely doubt any one of those 50+ comments from the past couple of weeks contains anything that can't wait until Easter.

It's been interesting to note, over the past couple of weeks, which people I have stayed in touch with - or rather, who has stayed in touch with me!

When I began this challenge, I was worried about a nagging feeling that I was forcibly removing myself from society. I made a conscious decision that I would make a more concerted effort to stay in contact with people.

It has been nice to have personal emails turning up in my inbox instead of the tons of marketing junk I usually get. I've had text messages and phone calls from people I usually really only speak to over Facebook - and I've even visited friends and family I've not seen in the flesh for a while. It's actually been really nice to be in proper contact with people.

On the other hand though, I have over 600 "friends" on Facebook, and over 2000 followers on Twitter. One person from Twitter has stayed in contact. The rest... I didn't really expect to if I'm honest - Twitter is a bit different, and of those 2000 people, I don't actually know many of them in person. 

This seems to have become some sort of an interesting exercise in finding out who sees me as a friend, and who sees me as that person who updates Facebook and Twitter a lot. That's not me being all maudlin and "nobody loves me" - it's me wondering why I had such a guilt trip about deleting over 100 friends before Lent started, when perhaps I should have considered deleting a few more!

So how is Simon this week?

I’ve had another busy weekend of living life and not sharing it beyond those I’ve spent time with.

Simon at the beach, not missing Facebook
A few friends have taken the trouble to share their news with me by text and email, including my friend Lou. She sent me a text to let me know she had a new job "because I know you're not on social media at the moment." How special did I feel knowing that she made an effort to text me? Very. But it was tiny compared to the pleasure it was to hear her news as I know it had been concerning her for a while.

It did make me wonder briefly about what other good developments I'm missing out on in my friends' lives... But it wasn't so great an urge that it led me to login and have a peek.

One thing I’m not missing is the negativity. Life has its ups and downs, it’s joys and its tragedies. That’s the nature of life.  We’re told “it’s better out than in” but you don’t realise the domino effect that someone else’s mood can have on your own until you’re away from it.

Like the sarcastic divorced friend who has been single for 2 years and fills up their timeline with negative comedy pictures about how crap/inadequate their ex/all men are. You don’t notice how contagious emotions can be on social media. It’s the same way that a positive song playing on the radio can lift your mood.

You’d have to be in a pretty dark place to want to hear Nilson “Without You” followed by Adele “Someone Like You” on repeat and not change the channel.  


And who wants to hear dreary ballads about heartbreak when the sun is shining?  

If I've missed anything of note in your life, please do either email me or leave a comment here to let me know! More on our social media experiment of doom next week.

Read about Week 3 here!

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