It’s been intentional ‘radio silence’ on Facebook for the last 3 weeks. I’ve been experimenting with a time of deliberate retraction to try and work out where this piece of social media fits in my life.
In the last year I have found myself making it my default ‘go to’ in any spare moments and I’m pretty sure it has been largely responsible for dulling my creative processes. Blogging has been difficult and any extended reading has also been harder, as the ‘re-wiring’ of my brain has increasingly been toward the short thought, rather than the extended argument.
It’s been frustrating sensing it happening – knowing the theory of it – but also feeling that weird compulsion to check Facebook or Instagram ‘one more time’.
That’s bad right?… It’s an addiction… Right?…
But what I’ve found is that in the absence of firing off a few quick thoughts on FB and then checking back regularly to see if anyone has interacted, I have managed to scratch together a few new blog posts – and it hasn’t been difficult. Writing has come easy and ideas have also been percolating freely – like they used to.
Ironically the only problem now is that in these times FB seems to be the primary way people find my blog and interact with it. So in its absence I feel like I am writing in a vacuum.
I know at least 3 or 4 people read – those with RSS feeds – but I get the impression that’s a bit of an older technology these days. I enjoy the conversation that accompanies a blog so to be writing with no interaction feels a little pointless and a lot less fun too!
So if you see me on FB for a week or so and then I disappear again it’s because I am experimenting with it.
I’d like to ditch it completely – and I feel like I may still do that – but to do so is to miss out on the good that goes with the bad. And it’s not all bad.
So at this point I think I will post some new blog material – maybe I will reactivate FB once I have 5 posts, then leave it active for a few days to interact and then deactivate it again until I have some more more new ideas to share.
It’s a bit clunky and awkward but it seems like the best way forward at the moment.
Hello Hammo. Long time reader, first time commenting. I seem to go through seasons with social media. Twitter and Instagram are my preferred channels, but I am highly selective about the accounts followed. I too am aware of their impact on my long-form reading. (Not to mention streaming tv.) Sadly I read much less these days. For what it’s worth, I’m not on FB, so access your blog by subscribing. In a sea of US Christian blogs. I’m grateful to have found a local voice that reflects the Christian culture here. Thank you.
Thanks Lesley 🙂
I for one would miss your posts Andrew. They are so full of common sense, ideas, views etc. and give me much food for thought. I’m sure others must feel like I do too. Please don’t leave FB !!
Thanks Gloria – I guess it’s that question of whether the ‘good’ outweighs the negative or if therr is just a better way
I am also struggling with this and have all the same feelings about creativity and flow when I stay off Facebook. I also find that the more novels I read, the easier it is to write blog posts. I have put it in my calendar to take a break from FB after Fresh Conference. I am going to post my writing via Hootsuite because I can still interact with people’s comments without all the ads and other stuff that goes along with it.
I like the idea of popping in every now and then and saying, “Hey, I’ve written a few things” just to remind the people who are interested and feel like reading something.
Thanks Yvette – a vexed issue for us 🙂 Thanks for the thoughts
“Ironically the only problem now is that in these times FB seems to be the primary way people find my blog and interact with it. So in its absence I feel like I am writing in a vacuum.”
That’s the present state of blogging when nothing apart from decent writing is there to drive people to a blog. It seems no-one will bother to look at blogs anymore apart from a few ‘older’ users like me who have kept blogging themselves. I even binned RSS because it was too impersonal – visiting the blogs that I chose to read felt like dropping by at the authors home.
I really wish FB could be made to collapse, so that people could re-discover the world around them. Perhaps Gloria would visit the blog more often?
I guess if you are an awesome writer it might be the case, but with the volume of information coming at us I think people need a way of processing and alerting them to new posts. I don’t think I’m significant enough for people just to tune in every day in case I have written something new 🙂