My Month Away from Social Media
In my last post, I was saying that I was going to attempt an experiment in how I got my news. I decided to turn off Twitter, Facebook and Reddit. Instead of them, I opted for utilizing my subscriptions to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and The Economist. I also ended up using RSS feeds as well.
So How Did It Go?
I think the best word to explain how it went would be mixed. I stayed off Twitter, Facebook and Reddit, but I probably focused too much on staying up to date with my RSS feeds rather than much more periodic views of my NYT, WSJ & Economist subscriptions. If I were to do this again, I would probably do more to limit how often I check my RSS feeds. I also visited Hacker News a little more often than I could have. I didn’t end up reading much of The Economist, and instead was focused on books.
What Did I Miss?
I think the only thing I missed was Twitter. The funny thing is that I can’t really pinpoint the exact reason I missed Twitter. I missed being able to Tweet about and read others’ Tweets about hockey games. This was particularly amplified by the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and watching my team, the Philadelphia Flyers make it in and play (and subsequently lose 4-2 to the Penguins). But other than that, I think I just enjoy just the general brevity of Twitter.
The news did seem to slow down some for me. I didn’t always know what was going on all the time, and I feel fine about that. I did pick up the big things from my RSS feeds and NYT & WSJ newsletters, but didn’t feel bombarded by some of the news that came and went without consequence. I have to say I did like that. I do want to stay informed, but being able to let go a little from the constant onslaught was worth it.
I think the big takeaway from this for me is to get my news fixes at a slower pace. I also believe this can be done even with social media. When social media is involved, I just think you need to keep in mind who you follow. I’ve unfollowed most of my non-friends on Facebook so just about all of the posts I see are from my friends. The people and accounts I follow on my primary Twitter account (@kpwags) definitely assists in this as I’ve culled out most of the news sources to make it generally more enjoyable. I have a second account that follows more of the news sources for when I want to read them. I might also start to work with my lists on Twitter as well.
It was definitely a worthwhile exercise and I think I’m going to try to apply some of what I’ve found towards how I browse through the news.