I always overload myself with challenges in January – it is a scatter gun approach – I work on the basis if I try loads of things something might sneak through and stick for the month.
This year was no exception. I tried the following;
– No drinking [success]
– Stay clean shaven [fail]
– Cook (rather than microwave) 5 nights a week [success]
– Do 10,000 steps a day [getting there]
– Stop reading the Metro [success]
– Launch a podcast [total fail]
– Go on a social media ‘diet’ [tbd]
So what did this ‘diet’ entail? Well to be honest I doubt anybody else will have noticed but I gave myself a set of ‘guidelines’ for the month;
1. No tweets about my commute or public transport
2. No (this became less) stream of consciousness tweeting
3. Ditch the negativity
4. Tweet when you have something to say not to say something
5. More work – or work adjacent – tweeting
6. Be more helpful
7. More RTing (of more people)
8. Stop updating Facebook
It is worth saying that for me social media is pretty much just Twitter and Facebook now. I don’t use Google+ at all anymore and never really contributed elsewhere (like Instagram though I am thinking about it.)
Apart from the first day back at work (I blame the shock of the return) I have stayed true to not commenting on my transport experiences. It turns out this helps considerably with (3) as well. While I have never been one to talk about my breakfast or upload images of my lunch any filter between my thoughts and my Twitter account has crumbled over the years and I regularly tweeted just for something to do. This has been a hard habit to break and (2) and (4) have been tough. I tend to separate stand-alone tweets from conversations. The latter I continue as ever really – though perhaps I do take a second longer to decide whether to enter in to it now.
The work focus thing has been easy as there is a lot going on and that isn’t going to change any time soon – I am also intending to ramp up my professional blogging again.
Am I actually helpful online? I don’t know but I do believe in the inherent generosity of my social media community and want to do a better job of contributing to that as I worry I have been taking more than giving recently.
The RTing thing is part of that – for some reason I have quite a few followers now (2500ish I think) so I am trying to give some of the brilliant people I follow a boost – whether they want it or not 😉 ThinkUp helps with this.
I haven’t made an update to Facebook in January. I still participate in conversations there and I have no intention of quitting it – I’ll probably continue to use it for my photos – but this seems to be a change that might stick.
I did give in to negativity at least once when I was moaning about some issues with an event – this was born of genuine annoyance but also quite a bit of back pain and it kicked up quite a bit of trouble so I need to work harder at that.
My plan is to continue this experiment into February at least – I am assuming my Twitter usage will go through the roof when I am in Texas for SXSW so that might be the big test of this but until then this is the path I am on and hopefully I will get better at it.
If anybody is wondering ‘why?’ I’m doing this I wish I had a decent answer! Sometimes a change is as good as a rest is the best I can come up with!