Old School Communication
I quit social media earlier this year. I had quit in the past as well, but got lured back at some point and definitely wasn’t finding it satisfying or worth the time I was spending on it. So earlier this year, one by one, I began cutting myself off of all of my social media.
The first benefit I have found is that my phone has fewer issues and I can get through the entire day without charging it. This is no doubt partly due to not being on my phone as often, but also the lack of apps running in the background. I often listen to audiobooks throughout the day and my phone is still usually over 40% battery life when I get home at the end of the day.
The second benefit, of course, is my free time has increased and has been reinvested into things that are more important to me. I spend that time writing, reading or pursuing other goals on my Day Zero Project list. I am less distracted by my phone when working, exercising or reading. It is way better especially at bed time, when I do one last sync on my Fitbit and then close it out and go to bed. No more random scrolling through a newsfeed that offers very little of interest to me.
But the most important benefit I have found in the increase in positive communication that I have had with others. Instead of communicating through comments on photos of status updates or a photo on Instagram, I am communicating with friends via email – which nowadays actually seems old school! And best of all, my time spent with my husband or my family is more meaningful because I am undistracted by my phone.
It’s unfortunate that we live in a time when most people get their news from a meme or a news feed on social media, when who knows how accurate this second-hand information may be. I enjoy reading the news every morning, going through the stories and getting caught up on all of the world news from direct sources, written with reasonable coherence and without the commentary of people fighting from all sides.
We also live in a time where people are so ingrained to communicate in what will fit in a Tweet or a text that they have lost the spirit of true communication. I feel so fortunate that even my frivolous teenage socialization between classes was not via text, but rather in long notes, handwritten in complete sentences.
I was reminiscing just this week about when I met my husband. We met online in 2000, and I didn’t even have internet access at home on my personal computer. Over the course of that summer, I walked 2 miles every morning to the library to check my email where he had sent me a long missive, letting me slowly learn details about him, and let me peek into his world. I would read it eagerly and reply, and then walk back home, knowing that at some point in the day he would read and reply and the next morning I would do it all over again. Over that summer, we wrote long communications to one another, getting to know so much, and not in a rush of instant messages all in one day but over the course of several months. It is such sweet nostalgia to remember that; the agony when we went several days out of touch but the excitement to hear from him once again, or sometimes even receiving a hand written letter in the mail that I could cherish!
I think more and more people are making the move away from social media and back to more traditional and satisfying ways of communicating, and I can say I have no regrets about making the move myself.