phocks observations on life, the universe, and nothing

Anti-Social Behaviour

On the 1st of December 2014 I decided it was time to have a break from social media. Way back in 2007 I happened to stumble upon a little website called Twitter.

Soon afterwards I joined Facebook, later Instagram came along, and of course Tumblr, and then about a million more online enterprises vying for my time.

After 7 years or so that initial spark had certainly dwindled. For most of these sites I found that I was only updating them and checking them out of pure daily habit or because I felt almost obligated to stay active. And so I got the idea late November that I wanted to see what it was like not be beholden to any of these websites each day, just for a little while. I even went back to using my old Nokia phone with a whole week of battery life.

It was great! The taste of freedom!

Of course I didn’t abstain from the internet completely. During the month away I have been looking for a new job, working on my own projects, and tending to other obligations and commitments. I also found that the fine line that distinguishes social media from the rest of the internet is often very vaguely defined. That became largely what drew my excess attention during those days. In a way, email is still the largest social media platform in the known universe. At least I made it to inbox zero.

And now as the month wears thin and the time to return calls me back to that great social stream, I can appreciate the time spent apart. I did get quite a few things done. All those things I wanted to get done without additional undue distraction. But I also learnt that the art of procrastination and distraction is an ancient one, one easily found, even in the absence of a few major social media platforms.

In the end I truly believe it doesn’t really matter how many social networks you are active on at any given time. In any life, productivity and procrastination will forever be locked in that eternal battle for the mind and for all time.