What I noticed about being off social media and stepping away from my usual tech habits

I’m not sure if you have noticed (thanks to those that reached out BTW) but over the last few weeks I have been significantly quieter over on Mastodon and also this blog.

I’ve needed a bit of a reset, time away from social media, RSS, podcasts and YouTube to figure out what I want to do and give myself a bit of headspace to think.

Now I have done this I thoroughly recommend it – if even for a week.

I get caught up in the new, in the imposter syndrome, in the trap of thinking I haven’t achieved anything when others seem to be doing it so easily, in the negativity and I had enough – I don’t switch off that easily and find it hard to relax, which makes it even worse to manage.

I needed time away from a lot of things; to be bored and to help me relax a bit. This isn’t any sort of vision quest I just needed some time away after being on social media since the first days of Facebook. I wanted to see what it was like to be in a little bubble for a bit and let me just digest my own thoughts on things.

The first thing I noticed is what I have just mentioned – boredom. I don’t feel I am addicted to checking my phone, this wasn’t the point of the break but when I removed all of the apps I used to fill in boredom I suddenly had some silence and time to just be in the moment. I didn’t really look to spend this time thinking about what I wanted to do but after a few days it just came to me. It was starting to become clearer what I enjoyed about being social on the internet and blogging; and after the three weeks I did miss the smaller communities in Discord that I have come to enjoy.

This is what I noticed I missed the most to start with; not being able to converse with others with the same interests. I work at home and don’t have those around me that share these interests so the good of social media is these interactions I figured out.

It also helped me realise that I don’t think I can handle social media in it’s current form. I don’t have any Facebook accounts and I deleted my Twitter account – Mastodon and Glass are the only real social apps I have. I find that I enjoy sharing photography on Glass and I missed this (I’m posting again on there) but the text based Mastodon got to me, just like Twitter did at the end. I don’t feel that at the moment I can engage in this sort of social media – I prefer being part of a smaller community, like on Discord.

My current plan is stay off Mastodon and just enjoy writing here and the smaller Discord servers that I check in on.

Secondly and maybe one of the most important is that disconnecting from the tech news cycle helped slow me down a bit. Tech moves so quickly and I was (and still am) tired of topics like AI and Crypto so not having a clue what was happening in that space was great. I still don’t check an RSS app (my iPhone looks quite different now) or subscribe to many tech podcasts.

Next, I only relied on my iPhone for messaging. Funnily enough this change also coincided with me switching to a point and shoot rather than use my iPhone so I didn’t have the need to use it that much. I took it with me for Apple Pay and messaging but nothing else. This has made me realise how unimportant the type of phone I use is now and was tempted to switch to an older Nokia phone and dump the iPhone for a bit. I’m still figuring this bit out…

Next, I went to the news rather than it coming to me. By stopping using an RSS app I just bookmarked the sites I wanted to visit and when I feel like checking in I just fire up Safari and read the site – old school I know!

Lastly (for this blog post at least) I noticed that I missed writing here, sharing my thoughts, I had also noticed that I had become a lot more negative on the blog. Taking this break I feel has helped me come up with new ideas and posts like this one, rather than “why isn’t Apple updating Reminders on macOS” type posts that I had fallen into. I’ll still write about tech that interests me but I feel that articles like this one add more of a variety and I also do these little experiments anyway but not really shared much about them before.

Thanks if you made it this far, it’s a long post for me and I wanted to get it off my chest and onto text.

(BTW I’m actually now writing up my thoughts in Google Keep rather than random posts from the WordPress app…).

2 responses to “What I noticed about being off social media and stepping away from my usual tech habits”

  1. Glad you had a worthwhile time away, and it’s great to see you writing again! I was just thinking this morning that I hadn’t read anything of yours in a while. Glad to be able to do that again.

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