Today I brought my New Year resolution forward a little bit. I promised myself to cut down on social media, and so today LinkedIn bit the dust. I feel quite liberated, because apart from a few people, the rest of the 650 were only there for the sole purpose of trying to sell me something.
As far as I’m concerned, another social media site gone is a great weight off my shoulders. Now I don’t have to keep checking it, because it’s not there any more! Currently the only sites I use regularly are WordPress and Twitter. MeWe is just for my book promotion group and nothing else, and so I’ve decided that two main sites are more than enough for one person. Instagram went last year, and I haven’t looked back.
What’s the point of an author being chained to a computer constantly checking sites that are never going to be of any use? This whole social media thing has crept up on me over a period of time and completely took over my life. I’ve found that I’ve had to rid myself of an addiction by weaning myself off social media bit by bit.
Yes, we authors are told to ‘engage’. Ninety nine percent of the people I have engaged with are authors themselves, who as far as I can tell are all part of the same social media rat-run. However, I’ve decided I can engage with them just as well using only WordPress and Twitter; they don’t need to see my blog shared over the whole of cyberworld and may even thank me for cutting down!
The spare time I will undoubtedly gain, I will use for reading. Throughout my life I’ve always been able to sit happily with a book, but social media intruded and the books that I completed decreased as the addiction took hold. Sitting on my decking in the sunshine this week I’ve started ‘The Overstory’, which was a Christmas present and may take me some time to complete as it contains more than 600 pages.
A social media addiction causes the ‘Fear of Missing Out’ factor (FOMO) and a ‘Fear of My Stats Falling’ Syndrome (FOSF), the symptoms of both are a twitchy and constant need to keep checking notifications and an unfounded fear of being forgotten in cyberworld. The gradual weaning off social media is working for me … it’s got to the situation where I find I don’t really care if my stats are high or low. They’ve been low over Christmas because I haven’t written many blogs, and I’m okay with that. I’ve had a lovely time walking about in the sunshine with Sam on the Isle of Wight and furnishing our new van.
So… here’s the question: Do you think you have a social media addiction? Do you suffer with FOMO and FOSF? Would you like to cut some of your social media sites out? I’d be interested to read your comments. However, I’m turning my computer off after I publish this blog, and so I’ll leave it until tomorrow to answer them.