I’m doing an experiment with social media.
Over the last few months, I’ve been getting overwhelmed again thinking about the new year and how to get more leads for work. I’m not going to lie, when you work for yourself, it’s SO tough. I’ve had days when I couldn’t get out of bed because it felt that everything I did was not hitting the mark with people or organisations and translating to actual work. Constant and consecutive rejections get you down. Then, something happens like good feedback or a new idea to try out, a rush of energy overcomes you and you’re good to go again.
One recent creative and global collaborative project I’ve been involved with a small group of people on Snapchat was somewhat of a welcome diversion for me.
I realised I needed to take some time out and have a laugh now and again – and express my creativity and imagination rather than worry about work all the time. (You may like to read about this project when I wrote about it recently on LinkedIn in the article titled “What Business Can Learn from (Some) Fake News Channels”
Sometimes I watch myself from another perspective.
That is, I pretend to be in another part of the room and watch myself and my actions from afar. I watch how I react, how I talk, how I sound like and what I may look like to another person. I think:
“Why did I do that when he said this?’
“Why are my hairs standing on end when this person speaks to me?”
“Why did that that comment make me feel happy and excited?”
“Why did I reach for my phone?”
“Why couldn’t I look at her in the eye?” and so on…
It’s a great way to analyse and moderate my own behaviour and then understand myself and my environment.
So in my observations, I noticed that I use my phone a lot and reach for it often through the day whenever I have some spare time (which I have lots). I wondered how much time I spent trawling through different social media feeds which gave me little satisfaction because I could have been using my time to be doing something else.
The Snapchat project made me see that I need to be taking time out to create and do – as opposed to consume all the time. Consuming is so bloody tiring, disheartening and it makes you feel guilty because you’ve got nothing to show for it at the end.
I was also beginning to miss my introspection, reflection, thinking and writing that I decided to try something new….delete the social media apps off my phone… for the time being.
I deleted Facebook, Facebook Workplace, Facebook Messenger, Facebook Workplace Chat, SocialCast, Yammer, WhatsApp, LinkedIn and Twitter. (Truth be told, LinkedIn of late has been doing my head in with the amount of so-called influencers and entrepreneurs spruiking hustle and grind).
I kept Snapchat and YouTube. I have an Instagram account but I don’t use it often – I’m not much of a photo taker and kept Viber because it’s the way I communicate with my young niece who is interstate.
My intention is to only download Twitter when I’m at conferences or other events and for the rest of the time, I only access social media when I sit at my desk.
I’ve noticed some changes already Day 3 into this new experiment.
(a) Drastically cut down the time I’m on the above networks – less aimless surfing and less commenting.
(b) I’ve sat through and watched television programs from start to end without reaching for my phone.
(c) I speak to my husband face-to-face and at other times, rather than reach for the phone, I can let my mind wander to what is outside the window or just stare at a wall. (Yes, that’s a good thing for me)….
(d) I’ve had to change my routine of rather than immediately sharing articles I find on Feedly, I save them into a Notebook I created in Feedly (I have Feedly Pro) called ‘IMPORTANT READS’. I reread these articles and then decide if they’re worth sharing on Twitter or not. Most end up getting deleted. The ones that are kept are the ones that I save to Evernote because I’ll use them as reference papers.
(e) I’m not so quick to post photos and updates on Facebook anymore. Not having the app on the phone means you can take a photo but you don’t need to share it. The photo is for your eyes only.
(f) Yesterday I saw two storks fly over me and they were low and close. If I had my head bowed down, I would have missed this wonderful sight because they’re rare here.
This blog post by Helen Blunden was written in Melbourne, Australia and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.