Dear Facebook and Twitter, I need a break from you.

Posted: February 17, 2020 in Social Media
Tags: , , ,

Social media has been my profession since 2010. I manage a large, 70,000-person internal community for a company that’s #56 on the Fortune 500 list. I served many years on its social media team and now perform those same functions from its Corporate Communications team. Through the years, I’ve had responsibilities that include the company’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn accounts as well as some external customer-facing communities and our employee advocacy program. I love my work and the company that allows me to have this much fun while working with amazing people and getting paid for it.

Personally, social media has been a huge part of my life as well for even longer. I’ve had an active role in my church’s social media for a number of years. Like many of you, I check my personal Facebook and Twitter accounts multiple times daily in addition to other online communities that are important to me. I’ve been in a pattern for many months where my main way of winding down at night before going to bed is to enjoy a number of Facebook videos that make me laugh or smile. It isn’t uncommon for me to spend at least a couple hours a day outside of my work duties browsing personal social media – mostly Facebook with a little Twitter and LinkedIn thrown in.

It is no small decision for me, then, to take a break from Facebook (and Twitter) for the next month beginning today – February 17, 2020 – and going until at least March 17. Why am I doing this?

Not in reaction to any particular stimulus.

Not as a protest against anyone or anything.

Not because I’m angry (I’m not).

Not to try to convince anyone else to do the same.

So why? Because I want to see what my life can be like if I reclaim that 2+ hours a day spent voluntarily online and invest that time elsewhere. I need to read more. I need to sleep more. I need to volunteer more. I need to do more around the house. I need more real-life, face-to-face time than Internet-based interactions with people.

I’ve thought about taking a short break from social media for years, but have never made the decision to do so because I enjoy it so much. It’s fun. It’s my profession. I connect with so many other wonderful people (and a few jerks) online. But I don’t like what I sense is a huge negative impact on time and meaningful relationships because of so much time with my head staring at a screen when it doesn’t have to be. So I’m putting that part of me on pause for a month.

I make no promises of what will happen after the month is up. Maybe I’ll go back to exactly the way things were. Perhaps I’ll learn some things in the next 30 days that cause me to make some permanent changes. We’ll find out together.

After this blog post is published and shared on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, I’ll be signing off Facebook and Twitter until March 17. I’ll still check LinkedIn with my usual once-every-few-days frequency for a few minutes since that’s mostly professional. I’ll visit the professional community of my peers around the globe hosted by The Community Roundtable. But I will try to get my head out of the Internet personal cloud and back on earth where I suspect it is better off.

If you need me in the coming weeks, call or text me if you know my number. If you don’t have that, my personal email is jeffkross@yahoo.com.

Peace. Enjoy the next month.

Comments
  1. […] Dear Facebook and Twitter, I need a break from you. […]

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