My Little No Social Media Experiment (LNSME): Week 1

Day 6. Approximately 143 hours with little contact from the outside world. Okay, fine, if I take out sleeping hours I suppose that's about 30 hours less this week. 113 hours. to be fair, I'll round it down to 110. Happy now?

The thing is, I expected this to be one of those excruciatingly painful experiments. The kind where I'm rattling my tin cup against the metaphorical metal bars of my self-imposed prison, screaming into the emptiness of my own existence in hopes of salvation.

Or perhaps something a bit less dramatic. Regardless, I prepared myself for much wailing and gnashing of teeth. My Little No Social Media Experiment (LNSME = Lonesome??)

But after 110 hours (or 113, or 143, or for Pete's sake, who even cares at this point...) hanging out mostly with my own thoughts, the truth has revealed itself to be a much happier place than my nightmare anxieties would have led me to believe were possible.


Here's what I've learned this week:

Day 1: It seriously bums me out to not tweet the happenings in my classroom. So many amazing things happened this week that I wasn't able to share. And it's not so much about the sharing, even. It felt as if these precious moments between my young learners and myself were just disappearing, unrecorded.

Day 2: My Day One app became my salvation. It's as easily accessible during class as Twitter, has the capability to tag posts, and lets me record photos and text to capture the many spectacular learning moments happening in class each day. Huzzah!

Day 3: Instead of simply tweeting tiny fragments of the day, I began true reflections in Day One. Long rambling recordings of my teaching with reflections and plans for the future. So much more thoughtful than the tweets could ever be. Hm. Am I on to something?

Day 4: Pathetic shameful reveal -- I miss using FaceBook and Twitter to quell my boredom at stoplights, while The Hubs is driving, and in any 1-2 minute transitional time. I don't think I realized how often I sated my need to be constantly entertained through social media. I've started listening to Podcasts while driving. Highly recommend This Creative Life and The Moth.

Day 5: I've dreamt every night this week. My old dreams are back; the long epic movies filled with vivid detail, interesting characters, and enough story to fill my journal when I wake in the morning. If this is the only benefit from cutting out social media, it is worth it.

Day 6: I've written every day this week. Anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour. A very old nonfiction picture book idea resurfaced, and I'm fleshing it out while trying to determine if I want to stay true to nonfiction or use the original event that spawned the desire to write this book and create something more of a story from it. I'm enjoying the process, and writing it simply for myself. I've written some goals and will make a few phone calls this week in hopes of setting up interviews to gather some of the research I need to keep working on it.

Besides the extra time writing this week, I've accomplished more around the house, tackled some projects at work, and picked up a new book which I'm almost finished reading. It's called An Unnecessary Woman, by Rabih Alameddine, and I absolutely adore it.

I miss the friends I only ever have contact with through FaceBook. I do not miss the visual noise and mental junkyard of constantly scrolling through miles upon miles of nonsense. For the first time in more years than I care to admit, time feels purposefully enjoyed. Not lonesome, but mindfully lovely.

And that, my friends, makes all the difference.


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