Collin Slattery is taking a break from Facebook and Twitter. Could you survive a month-long fast from social media?
I am a product of the digital age. I got my first computer at the age of 6; I was on the internet at the age of 8; and I was doing social media by the age of 14. Our social interactions have increasingly moved online and for many millennials, it is the primary way we socialize with other people. It is also a source of great stress, anxiety, and feelings of depression. Most of us cannot even comprehend what life is like without status updates, check-ins, and tweets.
I am about to find out. For the next 30 days I will not be using social media. That means no Facebook, no Twitter, no Foursquare, no Google+, and the rest. I will attempt to see how to have an analog social life as opposed to a digital one. The rules I will be following for the challenge are as follows:
- No Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, or other usage of social media allowed. The exception will be use of my corporate Facebook and Twitter accounts for work.
- Direct one-on-one communication through digital mediums is allowed (i.e. text messages, AIM conversations, e-mails)
- Use of Meetup to facilitate real life socialization is allowed.
How will this change my perception of socializing? Will I have less social anxiety? Will I feel more engaged as a member of society or more isolated? Will I feel more or less lonely? What will I be able to learn about modern society and our digital interactions? This is truly uncharted territory for me, but I am interested to see what happens.
Check back for updates throughout Collin’s experiment and afterward, for updates and reflections on how taking a break from social media affects his mental states, emotions, and social calendar. Will he miss the instant gratification of reading his friends’ status updates? Or will this experience change his habits for good?
Read more of Collin’s experiment:
30 Days Without Social Media: Two Weeks In (coming soon)
—Photo credit: GOIABA (Goiabarea)/Flickr