40 Days: My Yearly Twitter Sabbatical

Dear Internet,

It’s that time of year again, 40 days and 40 nights without Twitter. First started in 2009, I’ve gone back and forth over the last few years about keeping this up. But you know, in the end, I end up doing it because I have felt mentally so much better.

As most of you may have noticed, I’ve scaled back on my social media usage within the last few years. I’ve dumped my old Facebook account and started a new one with my new soon to be legal name which has significantly fewer FB BFFs and I’m quite happy about that.

I’m off of Google+ and have been for months. I’ve stopped using Foursquare and a few other social services within the last few years. I’m an on/off with Pinterest and Tumblr, and I selfishly hold on to LiveJournal like no one’s business though it’s more or less dead.

But Twitter is my crack and the conundrum is that it’s been really good for networking and PR related stuff for my various projects. So I waver how to handle this. In the end, I don’t have a problem with setting up tweets for networking/PR stuff, and content posted from EPbaB will continue to auto-post to Twitter, Facebook, LiveJournal, and Tumblr. Content, as always, is also available via RSS.

But everything else outside of that, such as sharing of links, diatribes, responses, and the like, will be on hold until after the 40 days are done. For 40 days, no reading of my timeline, checking for messages or mentions.

As I do every year, I’ve gone ahead and deleted the apps from my phone/tablet, and removed the apps from my laptop startup. And as always, if you need me, you can always contact me via this site.

xoxo,
Lisa

P.S. Yesterday’s entry was about putting my daily journals on pause, not the site.

P.P.S. It’s been pointed out I’m a week early as next week starts Lent and I’m okay with that.

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2003, 2002, 2002

40 Days and 40 Nights: Taking a vacation from social media

Dear Internet,

Last November I made the adulting decision to give up Facebook for a variety reasons. I forgot to add to those reasons the “theymeanwellers” and “helpfuladvicers.”

Theymeanwellers are the types who almost habitually post the same shit other people have already posted on your Facebook wall because they think you may like it — even though it’s clear 900 others thought the same. They are kin to the helpfuladivcers, who when you post an image showcasing your meal for the night, will offer up unsolicited advice on how it should have been cooked, presented, or something of that ilk. If you make a statement about your allergy, will start educating you on said allergy even though they are not allergic themselves to OR have any type of medical expertise or education.

You know these types. May the gods save you if you even point out what they are doing is not well or helpful for you’re a terrible, awful person.

The above coupled with Facebook’s continuing disregard for respect and allowing people to control their own privacy, Byzantine rules for posting content and how it was being viewed, I left.

I said,

If we’re friends on Facebook, as of this writing, I’ve deactivated my account. I have a private account I’m using to manage pages since several projects require it, and if we were friends on that particular account, I’ve unfriended you and made it as private as Facebook possible.

…there is an intimacy associated with Facebook that isn’t even available anywhere else, regardless of how many layers I peel back as I write on this site. I need to reign in the control of what the world can see and Facebook was the first to go. At least here, in my sandbox, I’m forcing you to come to me and not the other way around.

Since that time, I’ve gotten the occasional email, text, ran into someone locally who wanted to know where I was and why I hated them. But out of over 300 Facebook BFFs, I’ve heard from about two dozen in some capacity as to why I left. Almost all thought it was personal and about them.

It has not been a totally glorious rebellion as there have been a few kerfuffles on participating on some sites because they ONLY allow Facebook connect to add content and I’ve chosen to just not participate. Or apps that require ONLY a Facebook account to function, so I stop using the app. Overall, I’ve been pretty happy about stripping Facebook out of my life. The private account, which has been stripped of identification, locked down, and only used to manage pages, remains blissfully ignorant of any drama, shitty product endorsement, and related items.

Five years ago, I gave up Twitter for Lent and then wrote about coming back after the break.

Then I noted that all the supposed free time I thought was going to appear, didn’t. But I was wholly naive in the process because I was bloody on Facebook the entire time! Giving up Twitter wasn’t really a hardship rather it was feeding the obsession (Twitter) into another (Facebook). I may have patted myself on the back for being so restrained during that period, but who the fuck am I kidding?

Twitter has started to go the route for Facebook for me in that the bullies, the “theymeanwellers,” the “helfpfuladvicers,” and now the “talkarounders” are starting to grow in leaps. Talkarounders are a breed I’ve identified of people who, for whatever reason, talk about you, your work, or things related to you and your work without engaging you. It’s frustrating trying to work on goals when people dismiss you on a regular basis so while I’ve stopped following and engaging, they still creep into my world.

So I’ve decided that I’m not giving up one or the other, I’m giving them all up for 40 days. But, and I have to stress this, much my work requires me to be socially active. Any content posted will be done automatically and I will not be engaging anywhere. Here are the rules:

  • No Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, or any other social media engaging or responding from March 5 – April 17
  • Content posted from EPbaB will continue to auto-post to Twitter, Facebook, LiveJournal, Google+, and Tumblr. It is also available via RSS
  • If you comment/respond anywhere or send me DMs through any service, I will not respond or engage. If you want to get in touch, I recommend sending me an email

What do I hope to gain out of this? Less stress about being up to the minute on everything. Less frustration from people’s stupidity. More work on the projects that are important to me. More time with TheHusband. More time to read.

More of everything.

xoxo,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe: 20132003

Kalendae Januariae: teh interwebs

Dear Internet,

When Kristin talked about getting off the internets, as it is “Another linchpin to bad times,” she wasn’t too off course on how I feel about it myself. I love what the Internets can give me, but on the same token, when I’m feeling an attack of The Sads, or a variation of it, I can spend hours scrolling through Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and randomly reading Wikipedia articles with no real return on my investment of time. Back in 2009, I went off Twitter for a  month and found that my attitudes towards it didn’t change nor did my habits, things just shifted else where.

I know several people who were able to get rid of various big social media sites, either by deleting Facebook, Twitter, or something else, and felt like they were able to control getting their life back. While I’d love to ultimately do that, I’d like to be realistic on my own uses and be more prudent on how I not only utilize social media, but how I am best using my time online. And it’s not just about social media, blogs and mailing lists are almost just as bad clutter in my digital life as paper can be in my physical one.

  • Unsubscribe from unnecessary mailing lists My obsessive need to clean out my myriad of inboxes was not for naught, because it helped me start unsubscribing to lists that I no longer was interested in anymore, found useful, or was never subscribed to in the first place. My mailing list label in Gmail has over 2000 emails sitting in it, but now currently has 5. Since I’m hell bent on buying nothing in 2013, I also removed myself from any store mailing lists or shopping collection sites websites (like Fab.com) as there was no point in torturing myself. I’m sure I’ll be apt to check websites (like Boden and Fluevog) and pin to Pinterest  for 2014 shopping inspiration.
  • Delete unused social media accounts Back in the covered wagon days of social media (2008 or so), one of the big “must dos” is once you figure out your “brand,” you then register your said brand on every damn service available regardless of what it is to prevent name hijacking. Which is all fine and dandy until the emails start rolling in from all these services every time one of their employees fart, accounts have been hacked or nearly hacked, brands reimaged/bought out/discontinued, and so on.  Fuck it. This is not worth the hassle anymore. Sometime in 2010, I started keeping track of social media accounts I’ve deleted (or have died a inglorious death of some sort), and as of this writing, I’ve dumped 34 35 accounts (and it’s growing). I also keep track of the date as well as how (a lot of sites require you email in to request account removal) the account was removed. Also in 2010, I started saving the confirmation emails from sites as I create an account in case I need to find out what username/email combination I gave when an account needs to be deleted.  Sites I’m active on are typically always linked from my front page, and I’ve also started a flavors.me account to create, as they put it, a unified web presence. I used to  love the idea of lifestreaming, but services either force you to use it on their site (ala FriendFeed) or plugins available are either shoddy, missing popular services, or too much of a hassel to hack and configure. 2013 is going to be all about streamlining and consolidating.
  • Stop following people/services/accounts/blogs that no longer hold my interest/are not engaging In 2012, companies were less likely to create websites to showcase a product/service as they were more likely to create a Facebook page or a unique hashtag for Twitter. Community engagement with their community is huge in making social media work while promoting their spiel, I get that. The problem I keep finding is when people/companies make it a “thing” to either spam your timeline with constant “One of our employees just made a poopie! Like if you agree!” posts or individuals who read supposed marketing best practices and repeatedly plug their own blog / services with no engagement with others or just keep posting links to articles and or things they are interested in (and still not engaging with their followers / friends) or the blog takes a drastic turn somewhere that no longer holds my interest. I’m sure you’re very nice, and if we met over hot cocoa, I’m sure we’d hit off, but I’m under no obligation to follow you or your services anywhere online if you drive me insane. (I’ve also started a mass culling from my Twitter and RSS feeds and will soon be doing the same on Facebook.)
  • Get the archives back up This is a project I’ve been talking about forever (like years) and with the domain hopping, the archives have taken a beating so much so, I keep linking to Wayback Machine to access the content rather than just get it up here. It’s a massive undertaking as it’s not only entries from 1996 forward but it’s also the metadata and fixing of dead links that need to be addressed. But it needs to be done.
  • Stop buying domains When I bought my first domain in 1998, it cost about $70. Now, through my webhost provider, I pay $10 a domain. I’ve started to let go domains that are no longer used ove the years, but overall, the current stable is enough.
  • Stop obsessively checking social media accounts This is where the real problem comes in, because when I get bored instead of doing something vaguely useful, I start obsessively checking Twitter/Facebook/Tumblr/Pinterest. And this probably the crutch of Kristin’s earlier comment because it’s not, “Oh, let me see what is going on” and then leave it alone; it’s, “Oh. Let me see what’s going on for the next five hours even though no one has posted/responded/commented on anything I’ve done but I’m still going to keep checking.” To me, social media is supposed to be about what’s on my time, not chained to the device/service and it’s tipped over that by a long shot.

 

x0xo,
Lisa