Monday Musings | Putting Away Social Media

Karen Ma One More Page Photo Starbucks Reading

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a wee bit addicted to social media. It’s the first thing I check after turning off my phone alarm in the morning, and it’s the first thing I open up when I’m leaving work for the day. Sometimes, I even check my Twitter/Instagram when I’m with other people. (This is seriously my biggest and most shameful secret.)

I don’t know how it happened, but more and more, I find that social media — as much as I love it — is a big distraction in my life. Don’t get me wrong: I love staying up-to-date with the latest news and I love being able to keep up with my friends online, but I sometimes feel like it’s taking away from my enjoyment of the little every day things. One of these little every day things is reading. What starts out as a “oh, let me update my reading progress on Goodreads!” ends up as a 30-minute Twitter spiral; “I’ll just Instagram this photo and go back to reading” becomes a mini “like”-fest… picking my book back up after my social media “break” oftentimes means having to shut everything down again and re-immerse myself into the book. It’s almost comical how silly the whole situation is, yet it happens to me all of the time.

So, I’ve decided to challenge myself a little bit. At 11pm every night this week, I’m going to turn off all technology and dedicate the rest of my night to uninterrupted reading. I’m going to make time to really, truly, fully enjoy the experience. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Do you ever find social media/technology to be distracting? Do you have any strategies to keep yourself away from it while reading?

12 thoughts on “Monday Musings | Putting Away Social Media

  1. Lost in a Great Book says:

    I’ve had the same issue…. When I found myself watching a movie with my iPad open to one social media channel on my lap and my phone in my hand open to another, I knew enough was enough. Since then, I try to put my phone onto Do Not Disturb, and to place it on the charger at 10 pm each night in order to ensure that I actually start to wind down a bit. Without that silent nudge telling me about the latest fun thing in my in-box, or on Twitter, or Facebook or … I can finally focus on things like … making lunch for the next day, tidying up, preparing my bag for work, feeding the cat and yes, even reading. For the most part, it works – Do Not Disturb will allow anyone on my “favourites”list to ring through so I know if a call or message does come, it’s from someone I likely do need to hear from at 1 am (family and close friends).
    Good luck with it – it does take time!!

  2. Brown Books and Green Tea says:

    My boyfriend and I have a strict no laptops in the bedroom rule, which became necessary after we’d both repeatedly sat on the computer after the other was asleep. We decided, like you, that after a certain time, its good to just unplug and actually talk to one another.

  3. The Paperback Princess says:

    hahahahah omg 11pm is your “curfew”?! I’m basically already in bed on the west coast by that time. You crazy young thing.
    In all seriousness, I completely know what you mean. I work in communications too so it’s easy to forget to shut off. It’s like I didn’t get enough of it during my work day! I’ve been trying to challenge myself to shut it off more when I’m at home. I have NO willpower though so usually this means leaving my phone in another room so I’m not tempted at all.

  4. Erin says:

    I also check my social media accounts when I’m with other people 🙂 Although I don’t feel bad about it. Does that make me a bad friend/relative/human being? You might be interested in checking out The Productivity Project (sorry, it’s published by PRH). Chris Bailey discusses things you can do to make yourself more productive throughout the day/week/month/year. Some of his suggestions are to disconnect from the internet, turn off your devices (although you already mentioned that one), or only use the internet for 1-2 hours/day. I’m getting jittery just thinking about disconnecting…Good luck!

  5. Reg | She Latitude says:

    Great post! I’m definitely guilty of checking my phone when I’m with other people, and I’m sure we’re not the only ones. I also do social media for a living so it kind of is a given that I’m involved almost all of the time, haha.

    I never update my status on Goodreads because it very often takes me out of my reading, and I agree with you that it takes away from the little every day things. Admittedly, though, it’s really easy for me to immerse myself in anything I’m doing (reading or games) and ignore my phone, so perhaps it’s a blessing like that.

    I think it’s a great idea to turn off all technology for a bit every day! Hope you enjoy it. 🙂

  6. lauratfrey says:

    I chuckled at 11pm too. Even though I’m up and scrolling twitter at 11 often enough. I take a month of at least once a year and it’s totally necessary- even though I end up filling my time with some other online inanity pretty quickly.

  7. Naomi says:

    It might help when you have children not to be on-line all the time. I don’t want my kids on their screens all the time, so I have to set a good example! I also don’t have a twitter account, because I’m afraid if I sign up, that very thing will happen. I usually try to put it all away by 9 or 9:30, and read the rest of the night, although there are days that I haven’t been on most of the day, so end up using the evening to catch up a bit. I guess, for me, it depends on the day.

  8. Andi M. (@estellasrevenge) says:

    I try to do this after my kiddo goes to bed at night with differing levels of success. It’s definitely an intrusion on my life and kiddo said, “Can you just not do stuff on your phone?” one night and that broke my heart. Blah.

  9. monikalovelybookshelf says:

    I struggle with this, too! It’s a big reason why I’m moving more toward physical galleys again. The temptation to be distracted is too great on any of my devices. (And I like the backlit screen too much to go with a simple ereader). Good luck!

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