My friend Simon and I have given up interacting on social media for Lent. You can read our first blog post about it here.
We're now three weeks in...
I don't watch live TV any more. I use the catch-up service on my cable TV to scroll through what was on TV last night or the night before, and decide if any of it is worth watching... Quite often, none of it is. What's struck me this week about not being on social media, is that it's kind of the same. I'm not on Facebook or Twitter being bombarded by every detail of people's lives; I choose who I interact with, whose stories I hear or read, whose problems I know about. It's quite refreshing to have pulled myself out of that constant stream of it all. And yes, I know that I post a lot myself (even at the moment) but I do at least try to keep it positive and upbeat. So many people are miserable, whiney, spreading hatred and fear and distrust and general unpleasantness - or just schadenfreude I suppose. I haven't missed any of that at all. I miss knowing what my friends are up to, but I'm sure if anything terribly important happens, I'll receive a text or an email!
Last week, a man I vaguely knew died. When I say "vaguely knew" I mean that we were Facebook friends and had exchanged comments from time to time. I had known he was ill, but he wasn't on Facebook very much so I didn't really know how bad it was. When he died, Facebook was (apparently) awash with messages of condolence - and rightly so, the man was a legend and will be sorely missed. I wasn't on Facebook though; I found out he had died because Simon (who works in radio, and weirdly just seems to know everyone who has ever worked in radio) called to tell me.
Not so long ago, an old friend from school died; I found out through Facebook and it didn't feel very nice. I'm actually glad that I wasn't on Facebook last week, and found out through a phone call - it was much more personal and not sandwiched between comparatively unimportant status updates about TV shows and what people were having for lunch.
On the other hand though, the nominations for the BiB Awards opened last week. I wasn't really aware of I am going to Brit Mums Live, thanks to a lovely lady who offered to sponsor me. And since I'm going to a spangly awards ceremony, I have a fair bit more interest in who wins an award - I'd quite like to get one myself! As soon as I realised nominations had opened, I wanted to get onto social media and start... er... politely pointing out to every person I've ever met that the nominations are open. But I couldn't. I posted a link on my blog's Facebook page (which I have still been updating with links etc), but that was it. No posting in the many groups of which I am a member; no chatting to people about how I'd love them forever if they nominated me, nothing. It will just have to wait until April 20th.
the BiBs or what they were last year, but this year
So how is Simon getting on?
Has it really been 2 weeks?
|Simon's hilarious photo.|
Facebook, you missed a treat.
Here are some things I have not been able to do this week as a result of my Social Media Ban for Lent:
Rave about how proud I am following the Year 5 parents evening at school.
Complain about how bad the communication has been about the Year 3 parents evening being postponed again.
Canvas opinions from friends about current accounts (I’m thinking of changing mine).
Share a picture of the sand school at the stables, which I levelled for the first time using the dump truck (#proud #ILoveDrivingTheDumpTruck #BigKid).
Share a hilarious giraffe/spider picture I found on a website while researching something.
Status update about having a powercut. Not a flicker, but an actual power cut for 3 whole minutes. Can’t remember the last time that happened.
Some things I have done as a result of my Social Media Ban on Lent:
Call Vicky to tell her that someone she had mentioned in passing before had died (I wasn’t sure how close they were and didn’t want to let her know by text).
Call another friend to find out how his sabbatical from work went, and see it had given him perspective on his job (he wasn’t loving it before he went, to the point that I was a bit worried about him).
Drive for an hour to meet a friend for a coffee, and then drive back to work 90 minutes later. The time passed in an instant as we caught up on our lives.
So as you can see my life actually seems to be better for not being on social media.
And I’m guessing everyone else’s is too, given the banal nature of what I would have shared.
I just need a few more hours in the day to be more sociable.
Or perhaps I just need fewer friends?
I fear there may be an Easter Sunday Facebook Massacre on the cards...