Social media has infiltrated our lives more than any other Internet phenomenon. It’s on our computers (both at work and home), it’s on our phones, and it’ll soon be on our glasses. Ubiquitous is an understatement.
Portions of social media have been very useful to me, such as building creative relationships through Twitter, but others have been time wasting distractions like the big blue monster to my right.
When I first joined Facebook I was working in the UK, making friends, and building my business network. LinkedIn was kinda crap and Facebook still had a cool vibe to it, so I jumped in. For many years it was the best way to keep in touch with my overseas and out-of-state pals.
Lately, it has morphed into a Pavlovian clicking experiment where I spend my hours doing little more than “liking” inane bullshit. Creating material to share on the site took a backseat and I turned into a pure consumer. After the shitstorm that was 2012, I knew that wasting my time like this was a slow death sentence. Something had to change.
So Long, Farewell
I decided to take a break from Facebook. Not “take a break” and visit the site less, but deactivate my account and remove the app from my phone. This may sound extreme to some. For me, it was an absolute necessity.
The whole purpose of this blog was to get me back into writing and move closer to the goal of becoming a published author. I’ve tried several times this year to jump start my own creative engine:
- I unitasked for 30 days (with middling success)
- I helped a fellow writer hammer her manuscript into fighting shape (which has been inspiring, but I did nothing with the creative energy)
- I even started Chuck Wendig’s “Very Simple No-Fuckery Writing Plan To Get Shit Done“
It was the last one which really opened my eyes. Keeping a daily spreadsheet of my writing gains showed me just how full of crap I was. For all my talk, I was doing little to actually make things happen. I started Wendig’s plan in March. By the end of the month I was negative 6390 words toward my goal. That’s the moment I knew that Facebook had to go.
The past 16 months of my life have been a fucked up Etch-a-Sketch scribble which I’m frantically trying to shake away. My life expectancy now has a giant question mark above it and this injects a wicked sense of urgency into my dreams. It also helps me cut through my own bullshit. Surfing a website is NEVER going to help me become the writer I know I can be. Only sitting in a chair and pounding words into a laptop screen will get me there. I can’t avoid putting in the work any longer. Life has already shown me what happens when I ignore my true calling. It ain’t pretty.