An update (long overdue)

Well I’m still here, though I haven’t blogged in quite a while.

The last couple of years have been pretty crazy at work which has eaten into my time an inclination to journal and blog. Ironically, it’s probably those exact processes which help to make sense of all the noise and are most needed right now. Ah well, a couple of weeks off over the Christmas break are just what I need to sift through the noise and plan for next year. More of that in a later post…

I’m also back on social media, albeit in a very much more focused way than before. I found that most of the local judo clubs I go to only use Facebook for sending out information and so I was missing out on relevant updates. I also had a number of good friends (many of whom I’ve met IRL) who I only really communicated with using Twitter.

It was “Deep Work” by Cal Newport that convinced me of the benefits of a social media free life. Interestingly then, last year I read another of his books “Digital Minimalism”. In it, he takes the view that social media is not necessarily a total evil, but we must be the masters of it and not the other way around. It is full of loads of tips for a focused and disciplined life on social media apps and websites.

With that in mind I have signed up once again for Facebook and Twitter (I never left LinkedIn because it’s necessary for the work I do) but with these rules:

  • No social media apps on my phone
  • No alerts for any social media or email on my phone or laptop
  • Once I’ve finished checking in on a site (using the browser) I log out. This makes ad hoc checking that little bit more difficult and therefore less likely
  • Only check a couple of times each day
  • Facebook is only for obtaining information, not sharing my life
  • Instagram can still burn in the fires of Hell as far as I’m concerned!

It’s not always quite as clear cut as that. However, I am finding that some sort of discipline is helping to strike the balance between:

  • Being informed where I need to
  • Having peace from the relentless distraction that social media can be

It’s working so far and, as with every such process, it’ll need refining over time, but experimentation is all part of the fun. So what’s your relationship like with social media and how do you organise it in your life?

2 thoughts on “An update (long overdue)

  1. Sensible plan. I’ve only had a smartphone relatively recently and it’s used mostly for travel. I’ve never gone in for alerts, at least not audible ones, and like you, sign out of media apps when not in use. DH is a reluctant FB user but is in your situation with his cycle club which seems to do all its business via social media. You can’t get away from it, can you?! Best wishes for 2020.

  2. Thanks Jane – great to hear from you. Yeah it’s an inescapable part of modern life I’m afraid. Our best chance is to make it work for us and not the other way around. When I see how busy my kids can be on their phones, responding to alert after alert, I’m glad to have missed out on that level of connectedness when I was younger!

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