Not really. I mean, I did leave social media, but your jaw won’t drop. You may read this article and be inclined to say, “Huh. Modestly interesting,” but modestly interesting doesn’t bring the boys to the yard, so I went with “jaw dropping.” Trade secret.
I am sure that you, dear reader, have never woken up at two in the morning and checked social media. I did that often. Not that I set my alarm for 2am and then woke up to check, but rather, I would find myself waking up for no reason (well, I am going through the change, so there’s that) and then picking up my phone to check because why not. Now, when I wake up at 2am or 3am or 4am or all three because, mercy, Fried Green Tomatoes was a documentary, well, now when I wake up I just go back to sleep. Is that so wild? I know.
My church is currently doing a series about being a good neighbor. Leaving social media pared my social circles down to only people that I actually see in the flesh. Like, my neighbors, for example. I deleted my account because I wanted to work on my book and step away from the noise. Finding myself with a suddenly tiny social circle was a very unexpectedly pleasant surprise. It’s not like I was a jerk. I have had lunch with my dear neighbor Ms.Rose before, but the last few times that I have spent with her seemed different, like I was fully with her and not even a little bit wondering if I had any notifications or if my phone was charged or, frankly, where my phone even was.
I am reminding myself of my Dad, who waited about ten years longer than everyone else to get an answering machine. It seemed like a silly thing to not own, but he reasoned that it was a small bit like a leash that would make him not fully unavailable when he wanted to be fully unavailable. Being fully unavailable is almost impossible anymore, but you can wrestle out tastes of it here and there.
My goal is an Oct. 16 deadline to get 30,000 words all typed out, printed out, and then stuffed in a drawer to mature for six weeks before self editing. I am on track and not so convinced that ditching social media is helping me write any more than I would if I was still engaged, but I am appreciating the new flavors. Try it.