July 24, 2015
Goodbye Social Media – I Need A Break From Our Relationship
Dear Social Media,
Wow, that means that we’ve probably been together for almost a decade now. Ahh, the memories.
Our relationship hasn’t been all that bad. Quite frankly, we’ve had some great times.
Because of you, I’ve been able to reconnect with so many friends that i haven’t seen in so long. From all the way back in elementary school to friends I met on different trips around the world.
We went through a number of phases. Remember when I refused to make the shift from Hi5 to Facebook because I didn’t want to learn something new? To be honest, I was just playing hard to get.
Despite all of the good times we’ve had, it’s time for us to take a break – And yes, you should’ve seen this coming.
See, things just aren’t the same and I need to take some time to reevaluate my priorities.
Over the last few years, I’ve started seeing that things are taking an interesting turn and I don’t like it.
I’ve seen you go from that cool new service we check in with from time to time to an all-consuming entity that we just can’t seem to get away from.
I remember back in the days when I’d be out with my friends, and we would just enjoy being in each others company – having actual conversations and maybe even fooling around.
We can’t even have a simple conversation anymore without one of us feeling the need to check in with you to see how you’re doing.
Not just that – I often find myself out in public with people and we’re not even paying attention to each other, because you’re there. You’re ALWAYS there!
And to be honest, sometimes I’d be hanging out with my family, but not really paying attention to them, because I’m spending time with you.
But that’s not the worst. The worst is how you are changing our focus to ourselves.
You encourage us to share EVERYTHING about our lives at EVERY point. We now have a longing to go viral. We post pictures, videos and simple status updates hoping to get your approval with your likes and shares and if we don’t get as many likes as we’d hope, we sometimes wonder what we did wrong and why you aren’t pleased.
We want to be famous. We are becoming our own idols. We are becoming the center of our own universe.
I’ve even taken courses from your “gurus” that have taught me how to use you in the right way to become famous and and after all that I’ve learnt, I’ve decided that I don’t want it. I don’t want to be the focus.
I want to focus on helping and enriching the lives of others. I want to listen to what people are saying. I want to be present in the moment, and I don’t want YOU controlling any of that.
Here’s the funny thing – you don’t even care about me the way I care about you.
All you care about is my information, so that you can take advantage of me to make money.
If you don’t get what I’m saying, just read this article that was written in the Huffington Post about some of what you’re doing. You are straight up using me and telling me right to my face.
You use me and abuse me to simply sell me to the highest bidder.
Well, it stops now. Yep, I’m taking back control. Here’s how this is going to work (and I’m not asking for your feedback).
As of right now, we will not have any contact. Not on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google plus or any of your many arms.
(Hey . . . stop talking . . . it’s not your turn. You’ve said enough.)
I’m honestly not sure for how long. At first, I was thinking that it would last around a week. There’s something about a week-long fast from you that sounded kinda fun. However, I realized that it would probably take about a week just for me to recalibrate and stop thinking about you so much.
Then, I will need some time to plan how I will navigate your waters. How much time? I don’t know. Maybe a day, maybe a week, maybe a month.
The key thing is this – YOU won’t be the one to decide. I will be the one to decide and you won’t have a say in the matter.
As someone whose income is fully dependent on my online efforts, I see that it can be easy to let you control me, and I’ve decided to be intentional about not letting that happen.
And you know what – I’m pretty sure I’ll be ok. I survived without you for most of my life, and I will survive this brief separation. If you’re wondering what I’ll be doing while we’re away from each other, here are just a few of the things that come to mind:
- Spend more quality time with my family
- Call up some friends and have conversation on the phone (yep, the phone – not your messenger)
- Nothing – like actually do nothing. That’s a good thing too
- Focus more – it’s such a fun thing to do
- Change the world – one thing at a time
- Work on really building my business without having you as a constant distraction
- Whatever I feel like doing. Yep, that’s what I’ll do (without YOU)
I hope you have a great time without me for a while. I know you’ll be ok as you’ll just go on to use everyone else. That’s just how you roll.
So that’s pretty much it. I wish you all the best and look forward to working things out in the future.
Sincerely Regards, Abdelrahman Omran
Adopted from “Leslie Samuel” at “Become A Blogger”
Update – September 14th 2015:
After almost two months of social networks boycott, here’s two lessons learned:
- It’s totally possible to keep in touch with friends while being in control of consumed time. I’m in charge!
- Social networks are vital sources for following up with family/friends/colleagues/events, knowing how people heavily rely on it personally & professionally in spreading their news made me realize it’s a mandatory to keep it as a handy tool not to be isolated from the -ongoing- life. Just use it wisely, don’t let it use you!
Welcome back, keep in touch, I’m in control!