Results Of My Social Media Diet & How Things Got Derailed A Bit!

Well well well I survived. If you didn’t catch my original post about my experiment of doing a week long social media diet check that out!

So, I gave myself an hour per day to divvy up however I chose from Monday through Friday. I didn’t include the weekend because a) I’m generally too busy on the weekends for my social media usage to be a HUGE problem and b) it’s the weekend before BEA (if you are going check out this post in which I’ve made a handy guide so you can recognize me!) and I need to coordinate and what not.

Did I stick to my plan? Why yes, yes  I did.  I kept track down to the minutes and every time I refreshed twitter it was an automatic 15 seconds and yes I did keep track of them all. So I’m proud of myself for sticking to the time limit and not going over. However, I had all these great plans listed of ALL OF THE THINGS I would get done. But all these great plans got derailed. Let’s just say that Monday afternoon a wrench got thrown into everything when an auto-payment mix-up (and NO notification whatsoever because we are on paperless billing) got our POWER shut off. We called and paid immediately once we realized what the mix-up was but the power didn’t come back on until Wednesday at 5pm. So all that productivity?? DOWN THE DRAIN.

Here was my list of things I wanted to accomplish:

get blog posts written for when I’ll be in BEA and maybe get further ahead (HAHAH nope thanks to the power)
– do all the annoying behind the scenes things I hate doing (review archive updating, putting reviews on Goodreads, formatting old posts I still haven’t fixed from when I moved to WordPress in March 2012).  That was one of my bookish resolutions for this year so I need to get crackin’ on that! (again NOPE thanks to no power)
– clean the home (YES. I did when we had the sun shining into the apartment)
– indulge in some of my other hobbies (I was too stressed to do that and figure out what hobbies I wanted to indulge in lol)
– get ready for BEA!! (YES! I went shopping  and pulled clothes from my closet!)
–  comment on blog posts!! (Again, EFF YOU no power!)
– Work on my super secret project that I referenced here. (NOPE. Too stressed to think about it)
– READ READ READ (that’s what always gets the short end of the stick because of my Twitter addiction…which is ironic because the only reason I’m on Twitter is because of my BOOK BLOG) (YES!! I got reading done at the park because it was beautiful and LET THERE BE  GOOD LIGHT!)

My Observations:

1) It was SUPER lonely. I’m so used to be able to have pleasant conversation throughout the day and it’s nice! And when I did come on I knew it wasn’t going to be for very long so it was hard to engage in good conversation.
2)  Making myself keep track of every little refresh or mindless scrolling made me realize how often I do it and it’s so natural to just open my phone, click on Twitter and refresh — in between things I’m doing or while I’m in the car or whatever.
3. My fear of people forgetting about me was so hard to shake. I know people knew that I was going on this week long diet but I still felt like  nobody was really chatting when I came on.  I was probably being paranoid. I was also so paranoid that I missed things!
4. I had no idea what anyone else was up to throughout the week — blogwise or lifewise — and I didn’t like that.
5.  It was hard because the power was off and we didn’t really have much to do so I FELT my absence so much much as opposed to when I’m scarce on the weeks because I’m busy. Doing other things = no time to think about social media or care.
6. I rely on Twitter a lot for the news: I seriously, because we had no power, didn’t really know about the terrible tornado in Oklahoma because I wasn’t scrolling through my feed  much knowing that I’d get sucked in. I’d pop in and out so I never really saw anything. Kinda felt like an ass about all my tweets complaining about no power.
7. I can’t comment on my level of productivity because of not having my normal schedule due to the power outage but of the blog posts I did get done at Starbucks/Panera I felt like I did them faster and with less distraction. I did get more reading done without refreshing Twitter in between chapters haha.
8. It is SUCH a habit that I had to STOP myself so often from looking at Twitter. I always check any time I’m near my phone. It’s crazy.

My Takeaways

1. It really helped to become more self aware of my refreshing habit on my phone — like really have to look at it and be AWARE of when I was doing it — so I’m going to continue to work on that habit by trying to put the phone further away from me and just not keeping Tweetdeck open all the time on my computer. It seemed so silly all the time I wasted refreshing constantly. Making me aware of it really helped me NOT want to do that.

2. Besides the constant refreshing my other biggest problem was that I wasted SO MUCH TIME refreshing and scrolling and NEVER SAYING ANYTHING  for like an hour. I realized that I so craved the great conversations and when I’m just scrolling I’m not using Twitter productively or in the way that benefits me because I seriously MISSED the great conversations and saved a lot of my hour per day on making sure I could be on for a chunk of time rather than wasting that time on refreshing, scrolling and not interacting.  MORAL OF THE STORY: quality time vs. quantity of time I’m spending on Twitter.

3.  I liked being more present in what I was doing and hope to continue to keep that in mind. Because I wasn’t constantly refreshing and checking mentions I found myself more involved in the book I was reading outside or sitting in the car with Will and actually listening to him with my full attention. I also found that I fell asleep easier and didn’t sit in bed on my phone for 30 minutes later than I wanted to go to bed. That also could have been me trying to conserve my phone battery because of the lack of power.

4. I plan to continue to try to document my productivity level so that i can see how it compares on days I’m really spending lots of time on Twitter. I think that will be eye opening to me to see it on paper. I already KNOW I’m less productive with my bad Twitter habits but sometimes it doesn’t make me change until I SEE how bad it is on paper with numbers to it.

 

Overall it was a good experiment though circumstances beyond my control made it a lot different than I thought. It was eye opening and confirmed a lot of the things I thought and I definitely want to work towards better habits. I have to say though I made up for it already today because of my withdrawal from only going on 1 hr/day.

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 30 year old married lady who is in denial that she’s actually that old. When she’s not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, listening to music with oversized headphones and having adventures with her husband and dog.

Comments

  1. Bravo! I would never have the determination to reduce my Twitter time so drastically! This experiment would be a total fail if it were me.

    It sucks that your power was out, but you still had time to do other things! It’s great that you had the opportunity to absorb yourself into a book without fretting about mentions and the like. But I do get how you felt lonely and unaware. Must have been a weird feeling to shake off though.

    Thanks for sharing your experiment!

  2. I love this! Having Lucy kind of FORCED ME into a social media diet, and I can say that like you I do miss the conversations and checking in here and there for updates on what’s going on with the world etc.

    Also like you, I find myself being more present when I can’t be on Twitter etc. I like that a lot.

    Now if I could just find some time to read…. 🙂

  3. I wondered where you were! You must have made your original post as I was getting ready to leave on vacation. I saw you talking about your power being out (ouch – so glad that got fixed.) I am like you on Twitter, I am always looking at it to keep up with book news and world news and such.

    Vacation was sort of MY social media/blog/email break. For four days and five nights, I only checked Twitter a few times, and went most of each day without my phone – I didn’t want to take it to the beach for fear of something happening to it ( and my phone is my life, let’s be honest). It was WEIRD, but nice. I didn’t even put my email app on my phone, and I only used FB a little bit to check in at places we ate/went. So weird, but good. I thought I’d be more freaked out, but I had blog posts scheduled, and they went up, and people commented, even without me there on Twitter to pimp my posts. So it was awesome.

    I’m going on vacation again in July and I’m planning another break to coincide with that. I think it helps us. It was weird, a few times thinking “I should check Twitter,” and then I’d decide not to because it was NICE not being chained to my phone. I love Twitter for all the awesome convos I have, but all those friends were still there when I came back. No one forgot me, even though I could see you having that fear, Jamie!

    If you do this again and the situation is right, I’d love to see another compare/contrast recap and how much you get done!

  4. I don’t do auto payment for my hydro because they mess up a lot. I pay them when they sent my bill because I am afraid they will over or under charge me.

  5. Sorry to hear your plans got derailed because of no power, BOO, that really sucks 🙁 But it sounds like you still learned a lot of things about your social media habits. You pointing out the endless scrolling issue w/o engaging in conversation kinda made a lightbulb go off in my head like OH YEAH, NOT THE POINT! I think I get sucked in that way because while I do use Twitter to interact and promote, etc. I also use it as a news source so I’m reading for updates, etc. But yeah, major time suck. There are free computer programs/extensions that you can use that monitor how you spend your time online — may be helpful if you are looking to continue tracking social media use?

    Last mid-March and April I blocked myself out of Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. I auto-generated two random passwords, then spliced them together, changed my accounts, cleared my history and gave them to my Mom. I had like 150 pgs of assignments to write and just couldn’t procrastinate. While I found new ways to procrastinate (hello vlogbrothers YouTube channel, haha) it really helped me focus and do some quality work. I missed it like crazy the first week or so, but then it became really refreshing! If I wanted to chat with friends I had to actually e-mail them, and wait for a response. It was really nice! This year I didn’t go as hardcore, but finishing up my degree I did use a Chrome extension called Strict Workflow which uses the Pomodoro technique (timer) and blocks websites while you are working.

  6. Your number three of observations is my biggest fear and since I knew it was one of yours it’s why I tweeted you and emailed you. Besides sounding like a creeper I wanted you to know I am there for you, even if you aren’t there. I like to think of us as friends, who happen to have met through and use twitter. But yes, number three is my far my biggest fear.

    I still think the power situation is full of suck. Like really, no notice?

    But really, thanks for the recap. It’s been very interesting to see as someone who is thinking of doing one herself.

  7. Leticia (@osoordinary) says:

    I decided to join in your diet last week! I was overdue for a social media break and I decided to give up twitter completely. I was happily surprised to see that I didn’t miss it nearly as much as I have in past twitter hiatuses. It made me so aware, just like you, how much time I was putting into it (refreshing, replying, etc). Turns out after my week was up I decided to delete my twitter app, as well as Pinterest and all the other social media apps I have on my phone. I’ve decided to limit my social media time to only computer time. And since I hardly log on to my computer, I think it’s going to be great for my productivity. : )

    So I just have to say thank you, Jamie! I know you were dieting for your own benefit, but your invitation to your readers to join you was much appreciated! I’m actually really grateful that I came across that tweet with the link to your social media diet post. I’m glad I joined you. It opened my eyes to the time I’ve been wasting and now I’m going to make a conscious effort to stay productive and use social media as a reward. So thanks!!

    I hope you enjoy your time at BEA!! This is the first year I’ve heard of it. It sounds like an absolutely AMAZING time! I’d love to be able to go one year! Have fun meeting new people, catching up with friends, and talking awesome books! 🙂

  8. Oh dear, it ate my comment! Anyway, I still think you did an incredible thing by taking a step back, regulating your Twitter usage and seeing what would happen. I think it’s incredibly important that people know how to regulate being online and using social media in a way that’s effective, but also allows us to be present in day to day life. I know that’s something I’m still working on!

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