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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Week One of UnPlugged for Charity

It's been a week since I've "unplugged". And, I do have a few observations thus far.

1) Yes, it's been hard but more so because social media is not letting me unplug.

The night before I started, I made sure to turn all social media notifications off on my iPhone. And yet, the next midday, I got a Facebook message notification. It was then that I noticed the small font in the FB Messenger App notification settings which stated that the notifications would be turned off for (only) eight hours. Well, that wasn't going to work so I uninstalled the app - and, honestly, I'm not sure if I'll be re-installing it.

Along with this, I've noticed that it is very hard to get information for small, local businesses these days without Facebook. Many businesses use their FB page as their main website - which makes sense. So, many times when reading blogs, I would click on links to get more information on the business and it would direct me to Facebook. And I would immediately close the page.

For anyone who might have seen me pop up in FB messenger over the past week, this might be the reason.

2) As far as work, it has not really interrupted my work flow at all. I'm still getting a lot of tips via phone calls and emails. Today (Tuesday) was the first day that someone gave me a tip and referred me to photos on Facebook. I mean, I'm able to follow up on the information without seeing the photos but that probably would have helped.

I did, however, forget that some information I needed for a feature was given to me only via Facebook so I did have a mad, panicked, last-minute visit into my FB messages close to the midnight deadline I gave myself on Thanksgiving Eve.

3) I do feel less informed, generally. But I'm still deciding if that's a bad thing.
There are dozens of international, national, and local pieces that I likely know nothing about. Friends and tipsters have kept me quasi-informed on these fronts - and I appreciate that.
I'm finding myself checking BBC and other media outlets' websites more than I did before.
So, I'm still informed just not *as* informed.
And, if Kim Kardashian blew up the internet again, I probably wouldn't know about it. Again...still deciding if this is a bad thing. Leaning towards no.

4) Using phone numbers/texting as opposed to Facebook messages and status updates is working pretty well, so far. I've sent a few funny texts to people who requested them. Sometimes I get the feeling I might be texting people too much. I'm hoping that'll get better as I get more used to not doing daily status updates as I normally would on FB.
I have also found in multiple cases that people are not very good at giving out their phone numbers. At least two people gave me the wrong number (not intentionally, I can assure you) and one person gave me a six digit phone number. I don't really find this annoying, I actually find it really amusing.

5) Event organizing without Facebook has been interesting but not impossible. In fact, in some senses, it's nicer because instead of waiting for people to RSVP "Yes", "No" or "Maybe", by texting - I've gotten a good sense right away of who can attend. That's nice.
But, I kid you not, I've sent text invites to about 60 people over the past few days. That's a lot of texts for me. I've also been pleasantly surprised about my phone not blowing up regarding my birthday party coming up. That, also, is nice.

6) While I'm not using any social media, I still have a strong impulse to share information. Now, instead of putting stuff out there with one broad stroke, I'm able to really think about who would appreciate certain articles or videos and directly send them links.
This actually resulted in an hour long texting conversation with an old friend who I had not talked with in years.
But there are some things that I want to share but have no idea who, individually, would want to see it. I do miss social media for sharing things like that. And sharing, in general.

7) Overall, I have had to make some adjustments and I've had to be a bit creative about contacting people in some instances.
For example, I didn't have a friend's phone number to text/call her so I reached out to a mutual friend who also did not have her number. I ended up using and eventually found her email in my gmail. I was *this close* to using a real phone book.
And it's been very nice that some people have reached out via email to stay in touch during this social media hiatus.
I miss sharing random thoughts and links on FB but, honestly, I'm sleeping better now and I find I have a lot more time in the day.

(I'm planning to make this with some of that extra time. Be Jealous.)

Can't wait to see what Week Two will bring. Though, I am thinking about cheating on my birthday and paying the $25 so I can share the funness I have planned that day with my social media Friends.

In the meantime, check out and if you want to make a charity donation as I continue this endeavor. C'mon.....if you donate to 5Ks (which last, at most, like 45 minutes), I think a 35 day social media purge should count as a charitable, donation-worthy event.


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