Addicted to Social Networking? I’m giving it up for Lent!

screenshot of how my profile now looksI’m sure a lot of us use social networking too much. By too much I mean using it,

  • for procrastination,
  • at inappropriate times and places,
  • first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

This is becoming the latest addiction for our generation, and although not as harmful as drugs or gambling etc, it can cause a disruption in your real life and actually make you less social with the people you see on a day to day basis.

I don’t think I’m that bad. I’d say on average I tweet 5 times a day and update my Facebook 3 times. However, I also comment on a load of blogs and forums, check-in to places, movies, TV shows (and even drinks). I will also find myself signing up to the latest social fad just to check what I’m missing out on (Google+, friendfeed, quora, path, pinterest).

To save my soul, and redress my virtual/real-life balance, my wife challenged me to give up social networking for Lent. We drew up some ground rules & from now until Easter I will not use any of the following sites or activities.

  • Facebook – total ban
  • Twitter – total ban
  • LinkedIn – no updates but can accept/make connections
  • No commenting/”liking”/sharing on blogs or forums
  • No updating my own blog or replying to comments
  • No movie, book, film, music reviews on sites like Flixster or Goodreads
  • No checking-in to locations on Foursquare or path, or activities on GetGlue
  • No uploads to Flickr, Pinterest, Twitpic, YouTube etc.
  • No texting in to TV or radio shows
  • No scrobbling with Spotify, Last.rm or Zune
  • No Google+ (can you be missed by nobody?)
  • No signing up to any new crazes that may appear! - My agonizingly trivial Twitter updates only confirm the bone-chilling hollowness of my existenceIt seems like an awful lot when all written down in front of me. The hardest thing will be to not share news/articles on Twitter and Facebook, especially with all the Windows 8 stuff that is about to kick-off. A lot of apps I use are set to auto-share so a few things my accidentally get posted.   I’ll no doubt lose all my mayorships on Foursquare, not to mention what will happen to my Klout score :-o. In a way I think it will be easier to go cold turkey and disconnect completely but when you work for one if the world’s largest social networks that is easier said than done. I already got cold sweats resisting checking-in to my train station this morning!

So from now on, the only ways to get in touch with me are email, on the phone or face-to-face. Wish me luck and come back in 6 weeks to see how I did.

One thought on “Addicted to Social Networking? I’m giving it up for Lent!

  1. Sounds like going cold turkey. It might help to replace it with maybe a new book, author, new cooking style, or other interest?

    That way, when the time is up, maybe instead of going back to everything, just go back to ones that are useful and save time for your new interests. Maybe the new interests will provide good blog material!


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