Thoughts on life, writing, art, and health.
I’m going on sabbatical from social media. I’m using the word “sabbatical” here for a reason. In the past, and to many people, they would call this a social media break or a social media hiatus.
Not for me! It’s a sabbatical. I need to rest. I need to work on some things.
any extended period of leave from one’s customary work, especially for rest, to acquire new skills or training, etc.A definition of the word “sabbatical” from Dictionary.com
I think it’s a very fitting word to describe my intentions this time around. I’m not cutting myself off, or denying myself something. I’m redirecting my energy and focus.
Reasons I need a sabbatical
There are times during the year where my social media usage and behaviour become inappropriate. Often, I notice too late that I’m in an unhealthy routine with social media. On the plus side, the problem is relatively easy to fix. A social media break usually eases the problem!
How have I gotten burnt out from social media this time around?
RescueTime is one of the tools I use to help manage my online behaviour. I used it for all of 2018 on the free plan, and at the end of the year, I bought the premium plan half-price for 2019. I am still incredibly happy with this purchase. As I’ll explain in a post about the tools I use to manage my focus as a home worker (someone who works from home), RescueTime has many qualities I like.
First, I’ll reflect on my social media sabbatical with some charts from June.
In total, I have 88 hours logged for my computer and smart phone usage for the last 3 weeks. This averages to around 4 hours per day. Of the whole amount logged, 28 hours are social networking: Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and Instagram.
A third of all my time this month has been spent on social networking. 😱🤯
I’ve spent 30% of June on social media. Most of that is Twitter.
Frankly, that makes me uncomfortable, particularly because… I don’t remember what I was doing. It was so mindless.
Over the years, I’ve come to rely on mindfulness as a technique to maintain my wellbeing. Mindless consumption of social media has been degrading my health all month.
I’m grateful for the ability to look at my logged time and make a choice on my behaviour. This option is not available to people who just outright block the websites or applications they don’t want to use. I feel good about weighing my options and having autonomy over my behaviour.
Where I’ll be online instead
Here: I’ll be blogging again! 🎉 However, there may be only a few posts for the rest of June 2019, but hopefully more as time goes on.
Discord: Leave a comment if you want to add me there! I’m in a few writing groups. They’re very chill.
Pinterest: Since I get inspired by Pinterest content, I’ll still be on, browsing recipes and art and more. It’s not such a bad place! (Although, they really need to crack down on spam there…)
Patreon: I’m still adding content there for my patrons, as well as the occasional free post. Follow along or pledge a few bucks each month to keep up on more detailed, creative updates.
How long will this last?
I’m leaving it open-ended, honestly. This isn’t a timeout for bad behaviour. This isn’t a vacation from “work” because I’m not paid or rewarded for being on social media. I receive a lot of irritations on the social media I’m stepping away from. Lots of spam, but lots of anxiety as well.
In a way, adding a time limit means that I just need to ride out the clock. Instead, I want this to be a mindful exercise for a successful social media break. 🍃
What I’ll do in the meantime
A sabbatical means I’ve got other things to work on! I’m adding more words to my sci-fi novel ZODIAC FIVE (which I’m posting about on Patreon), as well as revising THE PILGRIMAGE. Additionally, I have art ideas that I want to spend time working on.
There are also video games to be played and places in real life to explore.
Have you ever taken a social media break? What social media do you need to rest from most often?