A February experiment: curtailing social media

Update: Minutes after posting this announcement for all the world to see, I receive word from the good folks at HighEdWeb Arkansas, where I presented last summer, that I won the coveted Red Stapler award. So, before the calendar page turns, I had to update with a bit of blatant self-congratulation. Now, see you in March, or, you know, on Words With Friends and maybe occasionally on Twitter. – AC

Beginning Feb. 1 and lasting throughout the month, I am planning to dramatically curtail my social media usage. I have already posted my plans for a Facebook-free February. This means no posting on my Facebook page, no wishing all you February babies a happy birthday (sorry), and very minimal posting on our university’s official Facebook site. Other admins can pick up the slack for me.

As for this blog, I also plan to not post here at all during the month of February. We’ll see how that goes.

The most challenging curtailment will likely be my use of Twitter. I may not completely stay away from that network, as it is the most gratifying (and, alas, addictive) social media tool in my toolkit. Which probably means I should try to avoid it at all costs.

Why this monthlong social media fast of sorts? Two primary reasons:

  1. I want to see if I can do it. That’s really the main challenge of this contest with myself.
  2. I recall, somewhat dimly, a life before social media. I want to re-experience what that is like. Sometimes I forget, in my hyperconnected world, that there are many people who don’t even use Facebook or Twitter, and they seem to get along just fine.

I am not giving up email. Which is too bad, because that’s the biggest drag of any connectivity in my life. Work-related email is the most life-sucking component of all online communications. But it’s a necessary evil in my work. I will do my best to curtail it, but I know I cannot avoid it altogether.

I’ll also be reading on my Kindle app for iPad, which may make access to social media just a little too tempting.

As for Facebook, Instagram, Google Plus — those are the easy ones to ignore. Avoiding this blog will also be a challenge. Avoiding Twitter will be impossible, I think.

See you on the other side, on March 1, if not before.

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Author: andrewcareaga

Higher ed PR and marketing guy. Communications director for Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) in Rolla, Missouri, USA. Slow runner, mediocre guitarist, lover of music and puns, and an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan. I blog and Tweet about #highered, #music, #gocards and #random stuff.

9 thoughts on “A February experiment: curtailing social media”

  1. I’ve done this a couple of times recently, although for a matter of days, not a month. I was really surprised at how easy it was to stay off of social media sites, once I chose not to log on. Best of luck!

  2. Thanks, Kathy – I’ve gone on blogging hiatuses from time to time and didn’t miss it all that much. Twitter is going to be my downfall. But maybe not.

  3. So Facebook goes public and you go dark. . . .
    I’ve been noticing, also, what a huge consumption of time the social sites take, but I’m so deeply into it, professionally and personally, that I don’t think I could step away.
    Good luck!

  4. The most complicated curtailment will likely be my use of Tweets. I may not absolutely keep away from that system, as it is the most rewarding and, however, addictive and public networking device in my device set. Which probably indicates I should try to prevent it at all expenditures.

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