Social Media has been a gift for some and a curse to many.
It has brought the world closer together. It has allowed old friends to connect, family to unite and reunite, and for business to give a platform to reach out to clients on a very personal level with increased accountability. It has also become a valuable vehicle to promote causes. Some worthwhile, some in my view that are worth nothing. But I digress….
For me, Social Media has become a valuable tool of the writing trade. With a book out, I am able to connect with readers and advertise for free. Sure I may eventually pay for a Facebook or Twitter promotion to reach out to even more people but for now I like creating those moments of self-promo by myself. It is fun and it also challenges my ability as a writer to come up with a great line or two.
Social Media is not absent of a few obvious pitfalls. There is no point in my going into a few of them because this piece is meant to be reflective and positive. Which now brings me to my main point.
I believe for the good of our collective thinking in the digital age, we must occasionally break from Social Media every so often. I have made a point of taking an entire weekend as necessary. There may be a week where I feel Twitter trends have become dominated by news stories instead of material that I like reading, so I might take a break from it. Many of you know I am not a fan of watching or reading the news. Unless it is something I am actually interested in.
Social Media often becomes hijacked by those wanting to promote negative news and political pie throwing. This should be enough of a reason to want to stay away from it for a few days, or even longer.
It goes without saying that with any of these platforms you can most certainly control what you read based on who you follow on Twitter, or what stories you can read on Facebook. Mind you these are two very basic examples of content control.
A break from Social Media for me puts things into perspective. I can take the focus off of things that are happening on the grid and become instantly more aware of what is going on in my own surroundings. Usually, I will plan a few days before that a particular weekend will be off the grid. Staying off Social Media even while I am working is fairly easy. I never need to go on to any of these platforms while researching any of my writing.
To those of you who are glued to your smart phones, or your laptops waiting to see what appears in the news feed, think about closing it all off for a day or two and see how much of a perspective you can gain.
It will open your eyes and make you more aware of a seemingly simpler existence.
Dann Alexander is the Author of “Planned UnParenthood Creating A Life Without Procreating”. Available at online retailers worldwide.