Week 29: No Social Media

This week for my comfort zone challenge, I gave up my social media accounts, handing over all my passwords and what at the time felt like my life. I said goodbye to my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts as my good friend, Jake, changed my passwords.

Did you know the average smartphone user looks at their phone 1500 times a week? That’s roughly 215 times a day. I know I’m certainly guilty of this, and 200 times a day cant be far off how many times I look at my phone. The majority of which is probably to look at social media.

This was a weird kind of detox this challenge. The first few days were hard. I felt pathetic. I honestly couldn’t remember what I did half the time before social media existed. I felt almost lonely without my 700 Facebook friends, 500 Twitter followers and 200 Instagram followers. Without my virtual friends around me I felt detached from the world. How sad!

I work in marketing, and in turn, social media has become a big part of my work life also… It’s amazing the power of social media these days. Everything is instant at the touch of your fingers… . People are so time poor, rather than writing a letter of complaint, they will tweet a complaint, and usually get a hell of a quicker response. It’s meant that twitter has become a place to air opinions with ease, which in turn, makes it fairly entertaining just to scroll through. Social media is now the place to share everything, your complaint, the constant selfies, the team before a night out pics, the public break ups, celebrity trolling, the healthy dinner pictures, the unhealthy fast food pics, the cheeky Nando’s post, the “oh my god I can’t sleep post”, the wow I’m so tired this morning post, the screw Mondays posts, the TGIF posts, the holiday posts, the song lyric posts, the motivational quotes post (guilty), #gains with the protein shake! These can certainly wind me up, but it’s all part of what makes me love social media.

So for the first few days, without all this garbish to read, I was at a loose end in my spare time. By habit, I would keep trying to open the apps, only to greeted with the password screen. At first, other apps, Sky Sports worked overtime, but over the week my iPhone started becoming slightly less needed in my life. Pretty much all my apps don’t work without my Facebook login, including Spotify, meaning I had no access to my daily Oasis/Noel Gallagher.

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I started to watch TV again, which I never do anymore. Child Genius on Tuesday was a highlight of my week. I also began reading my colleague’s, Tony Cottey, autobiography which has been a very funny read so far. For me, reading a book is a somewhat a revelation. I did some overtime playing the guitar. Generally, I stopped wasting time refreshing my feeds. There were times on the way I wanted social media bad, or felt the need to post something. I kept a list of things I wanted to do on social media on the way:

– INSTAGRAM Follow Noel Gallagher on Instagram, having heard an interview of his, and realising he’s actually on there. (still yet to have done this, a good reminder for myself)
– TWITTER Congratulate Michael Yardy of Sussex Cricket on a great career (zzz cricket)
– TWITTER Tweet there should be a programme on Giovani’s Dad #childgenius (what a programme)
– TWITTER Question modern music after listening to a song called ‘Peanut butter jelly’ on Radio 1 (Give me back my spotify PLEASE)
– TWITTER Question being an old man because of the above, and wondering if I’m now a Radio 2 listener.
-Nothing?! (Was I starting to Detox?!)
– TWITTER Congratulate Sussex CCC getting into the Quarter Finals (^No. zzzzz cricket)
– TWITTER Lose it at my cricket team winning (honestly, get a life, Tom)
– TWITTER Drunk tweets (no doubt)
– FACEBOOK/INSTAGRAM – Hungover viewing of people/my pictures.

Reading that back… Why do I share this with the world? Who cares? It’s a strange world, the social media world.

Not for a minute would I ever want to give up social media, I think it’s pretty amazing at times. However, I do need to stop wasting time on it so much and really think about what I post. This challenge certainly reminded me off that…

Maybe I’ll set a reminder to read this back in a few months time, when I’m back into the routine of tweeting rubbish and spending my whole day refreshing my social media feeds…