Last week, a few people decided to stop using other social networks for 1 week and dedicate their time to Google Plus instead. I’m no stranger to randomly banning myself from social networks, so I decided to join in because I haven’t spent much time on G+ in the past.
What I’m usually pretty active on:
What I’m not allowed to do:
EVERYTHING. I can’t… login, check profiles (even while logged out), read email notifications, interact, etc. I’m allowing myself to automatically push this post through, but I’m not signing in to do it. If you see this push through to Twitter of FB, don’t yell at me. :(
I won’t lie, the first day was extremely challenging and I kept catching myself trying to open my apps by default. I was constantly slapping myself on the wrist and thinking OH GOD THIS SUCKS. I started this on Thursday (it’s now Sunday) and now that the withdrawal has passed, I’m actually pleasantly surprised with a few things I’ve been finding out over the past few days.
1. Google Plus really seems to be all industry people: BUT I’ve realized that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Outside of the Twitter and FB echo chamber, I’ve found some great posts and interesting articles to read that I normally wouldn’t have seen come through my massive streams on other networks. The value add here really looks to be the ability to share and start discussions instead of being confined to 140 characters- G+ invites discussions and lengthy threads and no one feels like they’re cluttering up anyone’s space.
2. Using G+ for research: G+ is actually a great place to start research when you’re working on outreach campaigns. I’ve become a big fan of searching on G+ for related posts on topics, and then slowly finding publishers and authors participating in the conversation.
On the downside, it’s been really hard to only research on a small % of social.
3. I’ve shared less ridiculous/pointless stuff in the past few days: Okay, so I’ve shared a fewwwww posts that were pointless, but I felt really guilty about it. G+ isn’t as saturated with random status messages about why you’re sad, what pissed you off today, what great and awesome thing you’re doing, etc. G+ has almost made me feel shameful for sharing things that aren’t adding value to other people’s streams. I know social is about getting a little personal, but honestly, the break from it’s been pretty nice.
4. Not knowing what’s going on in someone’s life 24/7 rocks: We’re all oversharers, that’s just how our generation is. Pulling myself away from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other networks has made me genuinely curious about what people are up to, and they can actually tell me without me already knowing. It seems like a minor thing, but it makes me more excited to talk to friends or family that I’ve (physically) moved away from.
5. I realized how little we use email for personal things: I remember back in the day, it was just phone calls/pages/texts (I used to have a transparent green pager… go ahead and judge!) instant messaging (or IRC) and email. I’d get so excited when I heard “You’ve got mail!” from my AOL inbox or some silly customized sign on/sign off noise. When Facebook rolled out their email addresses for users I HATED it, because I still love getting personal email (or even better, personal snail mail!) and not having to login to a social network to read something. Communicating via email has brought some fun back into something that was mainly used for work before.
Now, the downside of this is I’m using a private Facebook group for wedding planning and coordinating with my bridal party because they’re all back home in NY and it’s easier than email threads and tons of group phone calls. It’s been a place where we’ll store pictures of dresses, talk about details, etc so we don’t forget or end up having papers with notes randomly strewn around after talking on the phone. Taking a FB hiatus has made me miss my cozy, long distance bridal party group. :(
6. My attention span has become better: Without the constant flood of notifications, my attention span seems to have gotten better. I’ve been writing everyday, doing some wedding planning, reading books and more articles. I removed apps from my iPhone and notifications from Apple’s notification center so I wouldn’t see anything come through that could distract me. I finally feel like I’m 100% in control of everything I’m doing.
7. It’s started to ground me: I’m a big fan of traveling and being outside of the house. Sure, there are times where I won’t leave the house for a few days because I now work out of my home office, but I get cabin fever really quickly, to the point where I feel like I’ll spontaneously combust if I don’t get out of the house and explore. Facebook definitely doesn’t help that, because I have friends/family all over the country where I clearly can’t be all the time as I’m getting older. Forcing myself to concentrate on the here and now, and what’s present in my physical surroundings, has helped me make our new city feel a little bit more like home.
All in all, I’ve really enjoyed the past few days and I think it’ll be a breeze to stick out the remaining days without using my other social networks. I’m sure I’m missing out on some important stuff, but if it’s truly important I’ll hear about it anyway.
Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend and if you can find me on G+ here: http://