HOW LIFE HAS CHANGED SINCE "RETIRING" FROM SOCIAL MEDIA
11 weeks ago (IG still doesn’t earmark dates?), I semi-retired from social media, after years of questioning its efficacy in work and life: http://bit.ly/1MVAPp1. My accounts remain open, but I've dramatically minimized my interaction with social networks. My assistant handles most of my posts. This is what's happened since:
- •Follower countsSurprisingly, my Twitter followers have slightly grown. My IG is dropping 1k/month. My Snapchat is exploding even though I've posted twice in 3 months. (When I quit, I was garnering 7k views. Now I'm over 10k)(I'm excluding Facebook, as my personal FB is private)
- •BusinessThis might be of interest because my company relied on my voice via the Internet for 12 years to raise awareness and grow its fanbase. Ours was the first brand to infuse product with a blog, magazine, and content - what we dubbed as “social merchandising.” But business has changed NONE, if we are talking $$$ and measurable brand notoriety. (Disclaimer: the brand itself still remains active on social).
- •PersonalWhen I run into friends during travels, they ask, “What’re you doing here?! I didn’t see it on.." as if I’d fallen from the sky.These unexpected unions blossom into robust conversations about life since we last connected, as I have no idea what they’ve been up to, and vice versa. And gone are the days of, “I saw you went to Europe. Looked cool. Anyways..” Now, I get to tell them about Europe how I remembered it, not what they assumed by looking at a square picture on their phone for 2 seconds.
- •Staying informedWhen it comes to the immaterial noise/news, I’m totally out of it. Always finding myself on the wrong side of the water cooler. On average, I’m a half-day late on most major pop culture events, which in 2015, is like being lost at sea for 3 years. But I still glean the essential stuff from real-life exchanges. Thanks for filtering everything for me!
- •Getting asked for favors / Getting invited to thingsThis happens far less now. No, I didn't see your flyer, so you can't blame me for not coming to your pool party. No, I can't post your pool party flyer for you. I don't get sent as much free stuff anymore, and acquaintances aren't trying to use my numbers to help broadcast their cause. Less "friends" look to collaborate, because I'm not a social media maven anymore. It's a little sad, but it's also liberating. I basically disempowered myself, so I'm no longer a tool. A ladder step.
- •SanityI’m clearer than a Scientologist. Imagine a life where you don’t claw at your phone upon waking, forever wondering if someone left you a note somewhere in cyberspace, or maybe a Kardashian did something?... without the mindless babble, your racist high school friend’s unsolicited opinions, and how your competitor is doing it better. It’s awfully quiet. You can fill that void with your thoughts, or having a 1-on-1 discourse, or I dunno, being productive? Never have I felt stronger...
- •Creativity…and so inspired. Without the outside influence affecting or deterring my choices, my vision is purer, unique, and on-brand. I don’t know what exactly it is with social media, but most of the time, it leaves such a bad aftertaste. It can be such a drag. Rarely does anyone log off an IG sesh and go, “Yeah! Now I’m ready to change the world!”
- •Sense of selfMy world is a lot smaller now. I went from having hundreds of thousands of friends, to like, 3. Without all these voices in my head, I have such a sharper picture of what I stand for, what I like, and what is important. Yet, I'm as openminded and malleable as ever. I spend more time in the real world now, where I'm confronted by human diversity. Social media was pushing me deeper into these polarized bubbles, where I only followed, absorbed, and celebrated information I was comfortable with.
- •I'm getting weird(er)There's no excuse to stare at my phone anymore, so I'm the guy carrying a book with him wherever he goes. I drive in a straight line. I eat my food instead of making pornography out of a quesadilla. I don't pull my hair out deciphering a subtweet, I just call up the person. I don't know what your dad looked like in college, your new baby, your favorite aunt, you as a kooky 11-year-old, your average cat, or your gross bathroom. I sit there and enjoy sunsets. Not the car crashes.
- •But yet,I felt the need to share this all with you. Long Live List.