Way back at the beginning of June, I wrote about my intention to “go silent” for the summer.
No, I didn’t mean that I was undertaking a vow of silence. (Although I’m sure there are some that would appreciate if I did.) I meant that I was logging off of social media for the entirety of summer — from June 2 (one day after I got the idea by reading a brilliant piece by actor/comedian Patton Oswalt) until Sept. 2, the day after Labor Day.
My goal in all of this was to stop spending so much of my free time on Twitter and Facebook in order to use that time for more fulfilling tasks. What exactly that meant, at the time I wasn’t entirely sure. (Frankly, I’m not sure if I do now.)
For me, the jury is still out on how successful of an undertaking this really was. For the first few days — maybe a week — it was a little bit of a challenge. I found myself tempted to take a quick peek at Facebook, or just glance at what people were talking about on Twitter. But, I managed to stay away and it didn’t take long before these things never really crossed my mind.
The reason I say the jury is still out is because I still feel like I could have found better ways to spend my time. Sure, maybe went out in the yard and played with Homer a little more than I otherwise might have. I probably paid closer attention to a few movies and TV shows that I watched and I didn’t have my nose buried in my phone while I was with family or friends. In those aspects, I suppose it was a success.
Still, I’m sure there is a lot more I could have done. Without Facebook and Twitter to turn to, I found myself spending more time on news sites and things like that. However, I probably ended up still reading all the same articles and watching the same videos that I would have stumbled upon through social media. In other words, I didn’t exactly break my bad habit of attempting to read the entire internet every night before falling asleep.
All in all, however, I’m glad I did it. Even now that I have rejoined the social world, I am not checking it nearly as often and when I do, I’m not spending as much time on it.
I’ll chalk that up as a win.