Call me insensitive, call me judgemental, call me whatever you like…

… but LinkedIn is not the place you should be to declare to your network that a family member has died of cancer. 

Yes I’m sorry for your loss but with personal tragedy I choose to keep quiet on social media as I don’t want the sympathy of strangers and people who haven’t talked to me since my GCSE school year. 

But despite personal preferences I can accept people deal with grief in their own way – but will always argue a professional social network is never the right place.

There is enough doom and gloom in the world amplified by social media, that I don’t need what was once a bland, neutral platform to be another outlet of bad news. 

Or perhaps all this is just a sign I need to cut back on my social media? 

Therefore today I start a a new challenge, one which I invite you all to get involved with if you desire – switch off from social media for 31 days

Perfect Manifesto: The 31 Day Social Media Switch Off Challenge

Why switch off social media? 

How social media impacts you mentally 

Last week I posted about my struggles keeping up to my blogging schedule – it’s true I’ve been busy with work and family, but I know I’ve also wasted a lot of time scrolling through my phone. 

In recent months I‘ve felt social media has been taking more from me than I’ve been getting from it which has left me feeling worthless as I waste away precious time. 

The yearn to switch off has grown inside me as I seek to improve my productivity and offer more than I consume. 

If that isn’t enough reason to switch off, social media over the past year seems to have increased in adverts – if you go on YouTube you’ll find you now have to watch two adverts, which often seem much more complicated to skip to watch a video, and if you go on Instagram you see more “recommended content” than clips from people you actually follow. 

How social media impacts you spiritually 

I also don’t feel I’m as present in situations – my mind wanders, I have a short attention span, and can’t allow myself to have head space in any situation whether it’s looking out a train window or sitting on the toilet without reaching for the phone after a second of doing nothing to see what one of my social media accounts is saying. 

I yearn for boredom, not to know the latest pointless trivia, and just get old without worrying about a social media brand.

I want to pay more attention to my kids, talk to my wife more, and check in to see how old friends are doing. 

The ironic thing about social media it was sold as a way to help us reconnect and keep in touch, but I don’t feel like I use these tools anymore to talk to people involved in my real life. 

Why switch off social media? 

More like why not switch off social media! 

Defining: What is social media? 

How does one classify what social media is? 

It may seem a tedious pointless exercise like plucking single blades of grass to trim your lawn, but if you want to cut something out, you have to know what it is you need to deal with. 

Is YouTube social media or video entertainment? Pinterest? I’ve seen this described as a search engine of pictures. What about blogging… is WordPress social media? 

To answer, this post from Digital Vidya answers my question: What Are The Different Types of Social Media

Using this criteria Social Networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) are out. 

Media sharing networks – I won’t miss Instagram, and moderate my usage of YouTube, ensuring I’m not going the rabbit hole of watching pointless videos I didn’t ask for pulled out by the algorithm. 

I will keep using WordPress, because as a writer and blogger, this is the one place I produce more than I consume, but will not spend the whole 31 days looking at my page views – a hypocrite I am, because I’ve told people to not obsess over metrics, but I can’t help over analysising these numbers to work out what it all means! 

What I would like to get from disconnecting from social media

It’s all good saying that I’m going to disconnect from social media, but I think it’s important what I want to get from the experience so I know how I can measure if I’ve been succesful. 

Therefore during the 31 day switch off I would like to: 

  • Give more attention to my family. 
  • Put more focus on my hobbies/interests/goals. 
  • Not feel down or hopeless as much. 
  • Rely less on social media to be a form of entertainment to occupy my time. 
  • Achieve a number of small tasks I’ve been delaying because “I’ve been too busy” to get around to them. 

How will I go about switching off social media

Six months ago, I set my phone to mute all social media notifications – so I don’t get those little buzzes and pop ups to validate that I’m significant. 

It works in theory, but it doesn’t stop you from switching off completely, as you can still click on the apps and view the notifications in your own time. 

Therefore I’m taking some additional extra steps to reduce my usuage. 

  • Uninstall the apps. 
  • Focus on gradual reduction than a total switch off. 
  • Keep my phone out of sight at all times. 
  • No phone scrolling at bedtime. 

The one small technicality that impacts a full social media switch off… 

I’m 100% behind switching off and cutting down on social media for 31 days, but the small issue that I worry about will bring me back to my social accounts without even thinking about it is that my job requires the management of the teams social media! 

I really have no idea how I’m going to manage and wonder if I’ll just levitate to some trash brought up by the alogirithm to keep me reading. 

To try and deal with this, I’ve set myself the following target: 

  • I will use social media to post content and manage engagement as required by my job, but I will not do any further scrolling or reading of trivial content. 

Do you want to cut down on your social media use? 

This is my social media switch off challenge, where over the next few weeks I will be sharing some posts about cutting back on social media to give you tips and advice to switch off. 

If you’re inspired by this post, then why not try switching off for 31 days?

What do you say? Are you in? 

We’ve got this.

Wishing you the best in your success 

James @Perfect Manifesto 

26 thoughts on “The 31 Day Social Media Switch Off Challenge 2022 

  1. Your teams social media: do it as a job and decide how ever mins to it per day as if its a paid client and stop when the timer is up. Like the pomodoro technique.

    Agree actually removing them from the phone is a good way.

    Wish you the best. I actually did remove all my apps a few years ago for two reasons, I was wasting time and my phone had no space.

    I am just trying to be more disciplined now. Limit my time on it. Instagram is my weakness..

    But lately I am struggling with lots of stuff phone or computer related.

    Wish you every a success.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good idea – it’s international nursing day tomorrow and I work in a nursing team, so just as I start this challenge I’ve been finalising plans around social media. Lucky most is spent writing content in Eord then going into LinkedIn and twitter and scheduling the posts!

      I used to like Instagram but find it’s recommending 1 or 2 posts between the people I actually follow so it’s been getting on my nerves!

      Thank you Bella and thanks for your comments 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What’s eord?

        I am getting annoyed with social media. And I was beginning to enjoy Twitter and now .. Well that new owner and his ideas fir the platform , not sure

        Like

  2. Agree LinkedIn is a professional site and it like a job interview for me, you gotta be your best on their all the time. Which actually means we should be our best elsewhere too as recruiter as lwsys check our social media.

    I took a forced break from social media as my phone stopped working. I was without a phone for 4 days and it was great. Those four days where enough to break the habit and instill discipline.

    I love social media but I also get bored of it too.

    As bloggers we need it! No matter how bad it is for us, it is a necessity.

    But what we need is the discipline to not scroll a whole day away when we said we would only do ten minutes.

    Good look with your challenge. I am not sure I will join in. But I do daily make sure I limit my time on it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely I’ve seen an increase in comments on that shall we are inappropriate when it’s representing you as a professional – something that has boosted my confidence in my career is realising that is the competition in the job market!

      I find social media in excess can become boring, on YouTube I get trapped with recommendations to fill the void, and sometimes it feels pointless commenting on Twitter posts as it feels like small talk to try and make people like you.

      Thanks Bella for your support I don’t expect others to join in, but if they think about how they interact with social media then the posts done its job.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Good luck switching off! You sound determined and organised so I’ve no doubt you’ll do it. I can’t say I ever switched on. Does that mean I’m a bit anti-social and introverted? I used Twitter and Facebook when I started my own semi-retirement business as everyone said I should. I really hated it as couldn’t really get my head around it and it seemed to take up so much time thinking how to use it without just promoting my services.. Since I gave up working altogether, I don’t seem to have the time or the inclination. I am struggling as it is to keep away from news feeds and clickbait trivia. I’ll stick to my rather infrequent blogging and blog following and keep up with friends and family on Whatsapp.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Paul, I think I’m in a similiar position to yourself – I started using Twitter because bloggers were always saying it’s a good place to increase awareness of your blog, but I find keeping up to it a chore, and also a distraction of the deep work required to put a blog post together!

      I’ve always struggled with the self-promotion, so find on social media I just get pointless conversations hoping I get noticed.

      The news feed and clickbait trivia are quite bad, I’ve also said that the ‘trending’ section is like a call for action of what we should be worried/complaining about today – never great when trying to keep a positive mindset.

      I love my blog – I’ve got so much out of it over the years, twitter, facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram… not so much, so far keeping off these platforms has been quite easy and I’ve not felt the urge to say anything.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree. Keep going! I can’t really use social media as an excuse for distracting me from blogging at present. Bloggers block has set in. Hope it is just temporary.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It appears to me that many people are needing a break from social media. A few months go, I read this interesting post about a writer taking a year off: https://www.janefriedman.com/a-year-without-social-media-as-a-freelance-writer/

    The longest I’ve been able to live without social media (and internet as a whole), recently, was about five days. I probably could live without social media for a month, but it would have to be planned – not spontaneous, as in right now, because we depend on social media. For example, we are now trying to sell our e-bikes and truck camper, which is listed on Facebook Marketplace – the way many items are sold these days. Comments and potential interested inquiries arrive that way.

    Also, we use specific Facebook groups to research camper projects we have to tackle, which others have successfully finished. Messenger is also the only way we communicate with certain friends, whom we are trying to visit within the next months.

    Summing all this up, I realize social media is important to us (me, actually, as my husband just uses my Facebook account for his research and helping out other people with projects), but, to use your words, I’m getting more out of it than I invest. The only other thing I do on Facebook is post photos once in a while and reply to comments. It’s one-way traffic, as I refuse to spend more time on it than needed. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I never scroll down my feed and only check my notifications. It’s a very selfish way of using Facebook!

    I don’t have a phone, so I still have many moments that I just people watch and stare at the world going by when I need to wait somewhere. And, I’ve stopped using Instagram (temporarily) three months ago, because I didn’t want to feel “obliged” to keep posting photos there of our travels.

    Still, it would be nice to cut Facebook out totally one day. Or at least unfollow certain groups that we now still need for info. Great post, James! I’m glad Hugh sent me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing that post Liesbet, it’s interesting to read someone else’s perspective especially the downside of switching off with their line of work.

      This is the position I want to get into where I’m getting something from the platform(s) I use.

      Its a good call with planning to work with your life, as it goes my brother in law was going to take some old gates off my hands but now does’;t want them so I might nip onto Facebook to use market place!

      It’s all about getting more about it than you invest whether it’s making money, promoting a blog or keeping in touch with family if your not getting anything positive of a social platform get off.

      Its interesting to note your comment about being a selfish way to use Facebook my wife commented to me about returning likes because other people like her stuff, I just wish people stop wishing me happy birthday because I never return the favour!

      For social media if you need to use mute, unfollow, block to clear the clutter and focus on what matters and ignore the algorithm stuff, it’s a better experience.

      Thanks for the great comment, delighted to have you over to share your views 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. James, totally agree with you regarding posting personal stuff on LinkedIn… as you said, it’s a professional site, so I’m not going to just post something to get sympathy from people who aren’t in my circle! Even on Facebook, I’m very selective about what I post, not revealing private stuff. Heck, I don’t even post many family pictures or updates. We’ve had too much over-sharing in the past few years, which I don’t see as being healthy or contributing to mental health!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Tamara for your comment – I think what first clicked with me about over-sharing was when I’d had a good few years and then went to a bad few years and didn’t want to share that, and it made me feel worse seeing people having a good time. When things got better it made me more empathic to others who aren’t having a good time and realised I didn’t need to share every little thing.

      I value my privacy, and also don’t feel it is my place to share the news relating to friends and family.

      There is way too much information out there, so it’s good to have a filter on what you want to divulge and keep the rest limited to people in your offline life.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As I was reading your response I was ticking off each point in my mind! I totally agree with you! I had started out wit the bad years and like you I felt worse seeing all the great stuff happening for other people because things in my life seemed to suck worse!! That certainly made me realize that not all sharing is a good thing! Plus privacy is such a huge thing!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Privacy definitely! One of my old Facebook ‘friends’ always used to share funny stories about what their child had said, I felt bad because one day that child would be older and have a source of embarrassing stories on him online for all to read!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’ve seen a few people do this. Hadn’t thought about it from that point. On the other hand everyone knows that little kids do and say the funniest things, so they may not end up feeling embarrassed?

        I’m someone who just doesn’t see the need to share every detail! Like you I prefer to just be present in the moment with people and enjoy their company!

        Like

  6. I’ve heard of many people switching off social media and coming away with great results, James. However, it’s a little like going on a diet because most of those who tried it end up going back on it after the trial and ending up back at square one again. However, those days they were not scrolling through their social media channels were days well spent.

    I see your challenge like I do when I take blogging breaks. I’ve taken many over the years, and all have done my mental and physical health a lot of good. I come back to blogging, almost bouncing off the sides of my blog, and I am always happy to get back. But, because I’ve taken blogging breaks and know how good they are, they’re always sat at the back of my mind as a safeguard.

    Good luck with the challenge. I know you’ll smash it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a tradition for my wife and I when we go on holiday to keep our phones switched off, apart from contacting relates to say we’ve arrived and got home safely, we will keep them locked up in a safe.

      After the week we feel more in touch with the world around us, being able to focus (and from a creative stand point I’ve jotted down a dozen ideas to explore for my blog!)

      It’s funny you mention diets Hugh, as I’m also trying to cut down a few pounds, I guess I’m going through a stage to try and clear the baggage mentally and physically.

      Hopefully I come away from both better off, I think I’m being more realistic with this challenge as I know I will go back to using social media after the 31 days, though as of yet I’m not sure in what capacity – I would like to be using it less, and be less around on different platforms.

      Thanks for your comment Hugh and thank you so much for sharing my challenge, have a fantastic week.

      Like

      1. I like that tradition, James. It’s one I wish everyone would take. If only phones had some device that blocked social media when we were on holiday and only allowed us to make outgoing calls or text messages. The world would be so much different.

        I used to be on every social media platform out there. It was terrible advice given to me as I was spreading myself far too thinly, so none of it was working for me. When I cut back to just a couple, things got much better.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My wife pointed out since we left the EU we have to pay for all calls, texts etc, so being a tight Yorkshire man my phone will be switched off the moment we get on the plane this year!

        When holidaying it’s worth remembering your not always around the place your staying, and in many cases you may only get one chance to enjoy the place, so might as well be as present in reality as possible and enjoy the moment.

        My approach after this experiment will probably be – WordPress, YouTube and something else – probably Twitter, but on a lower schedule so I’m not worrying that I’ve not tweeted enough to please the algorithm.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I do spend too much time on social media. I tell myself it will help me grow my followers/subscribers for my blog but I waste time reading crap. I even go on Tik Tok which is no use to me whatsoever!
    I look forward to your impending posts on cutting back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rachel, I went on with similar intentions, but it seems a lot of slog for little return, especially with so much competition out there, and like you say you end up reading a load of crap.

      I set up an Instagram recently, though it’s helped contribute to the burnout from social media, hence I realised it was time to step back.

      Thank you for your comment 🙂

      Like

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