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Why I’m Not Using Social Media In March

Maybe you shouldn't either.

If you’ve been following along my 2020, I’ve been doing a monthly challenge.  Sober January was light work.  Cold shower February? Child’s play.  But March’s challenge has me legitimately nervous.

I wouldn’t label myself as an “addictive personality” but I have a few vices that give me great pleasure.  Among them are a great cup of coffee, wolfing down an Italian meal suited for 4 people and binge-scrolling social media.

So it’s with great fear that I’m announcing I’m off of social media for the month of March.  No Twitter, no Facebook, no (gasp!) Instagram. Other platforms like Snapchat are also off-limits but I don’t really engage there.

When my cousin first suggested it, my chest got tight, my mouth dry, my stomach didn’t feel so good.  It was kind of like that feeling when your friend asks if you’re ready for the test that’s happening in 15 minutes and you ask “What test?”  Then you make sure you soften up the smart kid in class so you can make strategic glances on his paper.

People have not responded to my announcement optimistically.  In fact, the first three people I told all responded the same way: “You can’t do that!”

They have a point.  I post daily to Instagram and upwards of a dozen times a day on Twitter.  It’s a key piece of my blog and podcast strategy. It’s also a great way to waste 30 minutes if you ever need a mental break.

But these responses didn’t sit well with me.  In fact, if you ever want me to do something, tell me to my face I can’t do it.

But then I thought of the positives. Maybe this could help fix my time-filling trigger.  You know when you have 5 minutes waiting for your next meeting or for your Uber and your automatic response is to open Instagram even though you just checked it 28 minutes ago?

Yeah, I don’t think that’s a healthy habit for me.

Seth Godin wrote a timely blog on the topic of wasting time on our phones this week.  This line stuck out in particular to me: “If we wasted money like we waste our time, we’d all be bankrupt.”

If we wasted money like we waste our time, we’d all be bankrupt.”

-Seth Godin

Look, social media definitely isn’t all bad and there are 1,000 ways to waste time outside of Instagram.  But this challenge will be a trigger for me to explore what those are.

I have three intentions with this monthly challenge.

First, I want to spend more of my time in action mode – doing things, rather than mindless scrolling.  Deep work, writing, long-term projects, better sales numbers.

Second, I want to replace social media with real social interactions.  As an introvert, it’s easy to hide behind my phone and feel like I’m connecting with people because we’re “friends” or “followers.”

Third, discipline equals freedom.  I wrote about boundaries with technology.  This is a step further and I’m interested to see where it’ll go.

There are two caveats to this challenge:

  1. Because of basic job functionality, LinkedIn is still in play for me.  So if you like engaging with my content and want to hit me up, that’ll be the best place to do so for the next 31 days.
  2. I can post my content through the Buffer app to let folks see the blog and podcast.  But I’m not allowed to actually open any of the apps to see engagement, scrolling, comment, like or see anything that’s happening.  Just blind posts.

I love engaging with people that read the daily blogthe weekly newsletter and listen to the podcast.

Normally I’d point you to Twitter or Instagram but hit me up on email.

Let’s have a conversation.

If you’re in SF, let’s meet up.

And by all means, I’d love if you joined me on this challenge, it should be a fun one.

Godspeed.

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