— 7 April 2008 —

My Week Without “Social Media”

I decided rather abruptly to leave off any sites which were “social” in nature for a week to see how I got along. I did this last Tuesday. Why that day? Because all good things start on Tuesdays.

I reorg’d my bookmarks and put all of my regular hangouts into a folder named NO and that was that. I’m not swearing off email or IM. Even though you could make an argument that they are social media outlets, for my purposes I don’t view them that way.

Below you’ll find my diary, journal, blog post if you will of my week without: SOCIAL MEDIA!!!!

Day One — Tuesday

Technically just a half day. I didn’t look back at any site once I made the decision to take the week off.

Day Two — Wednesday

It’s odd. I haven’t been to Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, and all those other sites I frequent minutely for about 12 hours now. I don’t really miss them much at all. That’s the odd part.

I also installed Rescue Time today. Not surprisingly the activities tagged work are most of what I’ve done so far. I did get a lot of work done today. More than usual? Perhaps a little, but that could be because I am paying attention today to what I am doing and when.

When I got home, I really wanted to go on Y!Live to chat… but I resisted. Let hope tomorrow gets even easier.

Day Three — Thursday

OMFG!!!!!!!!!!!!1!!!

I’ve had a bunch of questions today that I’d normally just ask on Twitter, but I can’t! FUCK. I actually had to use Google a couple of times. Srsly!! Luckily Google still works pretty well and I could find the answers, but damn it was difficult to even force myself to do the work. I am SO out of practice.

I broke down a bit today and loaded up some muxtapes. Okay, maybe that isn’t a total breakdown. Once I loaded it I could easily go back to my work and just have the music in the background. But I felt a bit like I was cheating. And, to be honest, I did upload a picture to Flickr. And I did go to Flickr to see how the picture looked. But I didn’t look at anything else. Difficult, but I was proud of myself.

Day Four — Friday

Today was a bit easier as I got to experience some “social media” without the media. Well, some media, but since I don’t have a DS it wasn’t a big deal.

I hung out in the afternoon and evening with Patrick Haney, Jenna Marino, Dan Rubin, Shaun Inman, Ryan Sims, and for a short time Leslie Jensen-Inman (she had to go to a conference though and couldn’t hang out with us cool peeps).

Granted, I did upload some pictures of our night out, but I swear didn’t tag any of them at the time.

Day Five — Saturday

On the one hand, weekends make it easier to avoid anything computer-related. On the other hand, consuming all things computer-related helps me avoid my family. Granted, I get 40+ hours a week to avoid them (why else does one work but to avoid one’s family), but frankly it often isn’t enough.

Regardless, or if you are me and want to annoy Claire… irregardless, I was able to avoid the computer and spend time with the fam damily, only hyperventilating once. It also helped that we went to buy a new car. Shiny, drivey things are good to soothe the SMS.

Day Six — Sunday

Laundry. Cleaning. More avoiding. Ahhh, the life. I checked out a couple of pictures on Flickr, but didn’t feel at all anxious about it. I was able to walk away from the computer after only two minutes of listening to my daughter yell at me that the bathroom was on fire.

Day Seven — Monday

Last day. I did go out of bounds a bit by responding to a DM from Whitney Hess as to my whereabouts. But I just sent my update from last week explaining I was taking time off. An update she should have seen in the first place. Honestly, you’d think CMU would be churning out a brighter crowd.

I also uploaded a screencast to Viddler. I couldn’t help myself. I went to Shaun Inman’s site and immediately hurled. No, it doesn’t look bad. It’s just all the movement at the top of the page, and frankly I’d been drinking. Drinking, amazingly, also chases away the SMS.

What Did I Learn?

Biggest takeaway is I need to get some friends that live near me. Relying on the residuals of friendship I get from SXSW that are paid virtually via social sites isn’t enough. Last Friday was so much fun. Must repeat as necessary.

I also learned that I am just a wee bit addicted to the computer. That is probably true about most box-shaped electronic devices. That too must change.

I am not going to go cold turkey on everything just to kick a habit. I am not that addicted. What I need to do is scale back what I get involved in and ask myself, with every interaction, is this creating something positive? For me? For others? If I am not creating something positive I am just wasting my time and in some ways, yours.

I don’t expect to be creating positive things 100% of the time, but I suspect if I begin to ask myself that question I’ll re-adjust my approach to things and the percentage will increase from where it is today.

In the future, I’ll be much more selective about the betas I get involved with. If you’d like to invite me, please do so, but with the idea that I’ll be assessing your app/site for ways to make it better. Not just securing “matto” as MY username everywhere.

WTF Did You Get All, Like, Serious, Yo?

Because all good things come to an end, and all good things end on Mondays.

9 Responses to My Week Without “Social Media”

  1. commenter's gravatar.   Jeff L eloquently responded with:

    With any luck, new apps will support OpenID, and you won’t have to secure “matto” as your username.

    BTW, didn’t I see a tweet from you about the purchase of the car?

    I haven’t made it onto Y!Live once since SxSW, but I’m starting to feel like I want to get back on now that it’s been about a month since I’ve seen everyone.


  2. commenter's gravatar.   Matthew Oliphant eloquently responded with:

    True, I did update about buying the car. The dealership has wifi and while waiting I launched Safari on my iPod and Twitter was what came up from the last time I used it.


  3. commenter's gravatar.   Kim Haynes eloquently responded with:

    Great post, Matthew. I don’t think I could do it as well as you did. ;-)


  4. commenter's gravatar.   Matthew Oliphant eloquently responded with:

    Spend 30 years being bitter, paranoid, and repressed… after that it comes naturally. ;)


  5. commenter's gravatar.   Whitney Hess eloquently responded with:

    Thanks for flaming me on your blog, big brother. Much, much older brother.


  6. commenter's gravatar.   Matthew Oliphant eloquently responded with:

    Hey, in 15 years when you’re finally 30, you’ll understand.


  7. commenter's gravatar.   Elliot Swan eloquently responded with:

    Pretty sure I couldn’t do it. Well, I probably could. I’d just go insane while doing it.


  8. commenter's gravatar.   Daniel Sutoyo eloquently responded with:

    Thanks for leaving the comment! I am sure I will be talking with you lots when I head to MathWorks.

    I am quite impressed by the MATLAB publish command and the mark up. We will be using that soon : ). Look forward in hearing about your experience at MathWorks.


  9. commenter's gravatar.   BrianMojo eloquently responded with:

    I’ve done this a few times, actually, to similar results. It’s interesting to see how addicted/dependent you’ve become once it’s all taken away…


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