General Musings

Lent: Giving Up Social Network

February 12, 2013

This morning I read a new blog by someone I know on twitter. It’s called Mummy Loves Cake. And today’s post gave me some food for thought…

Sacrificing Social Network is a pre-Lent post about the choice to spend the next 40 days without (or with less) time spent on places like Twitter and Facebook. It’s a great read and one I think many of us who frequent these sites can relate to. I knew I was spending more time checking updates on my phone than I really should, but it wasn’t until my phone was stolen at the beginning of the month that I realised just how much more time I had without it!

I’ve talked about cutting off social media before and my thoughts on this are still very much the same: although Facebook and Twitter are great connectors, they are also great time-wasters. I have less time than ever with working part time, writing the book and fitting both in around my family life, so I don’t want to waste time really. But giving up social media is a scary prospect. After all, I am trying my hardest to campaign for Pregnancy Sickness Support in various ways and am also trying to promote awareness of the book I am writing so that when I finally get my book proposal completed I can include the advantages of taking me on as a writer (i.e. I have a sound online presence). So cutting off an avenue like Twitter is a major thing!

But more and more I have been feeling lately that the time I spend reading updates on Twitter and following links takes up the time I could be spending on here (the blog), documenting our life as a family and making a memory book of sorts for us to look back on. And it certainly takes up time I could spend out and about with my little family. Twitter may only give you 140 characters, but with so many people writing regular updates, it can be hard to keep up.

I have missed important blog posts from bloggers I truly love because of the overflow of other information popping onto my screen. And I want to change that, to return to the more intimate nature of blogging and actually spending time emailing, hand-writing notes, and actually calling people.

So I’m making a concerted effort, for Lent, following the inspiration I found this morning. I know that cutting off Facebook and Twitter entirely could be totally counter-productive. They do have their uses. So I shall check in to Facebook once a day (at most) to check no one has messaged me. But nothing more. No reading timelines or scouring group feeds. This is something I have been working towards for a while anyway, so won’t be a big deal. As for Twitter, I shall check my emails for any mentions or direct messages, but other than that I shall try my hardest to stay away. It will give me a good break!

Yesterday I updated my blog reader. I took out blog feeds that I just never check and made sure it was only the people I truly want to follow. I know it sounds harsh, but it was a good feeling to get back to basics. I’m making time to keep up with those few people I care about and getting rid of the ones I just always find myself skimming.

This, on top of changes to my working hours, changes to TJ’s working hours and the fact that we are giving up our cable subscription at the end of this month and not installing the aerial straight away will hopefully mean a better balance for us as a family. It’ll be an interesting experiment, if nothing else!

So tell me… do you find yourself sucked into social media far too easily? And are you giving anything up for Lent?

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