And I'm back in the room.... / by Neil Alexander

Calm, cold and imposing - Elter water and Lingmoor Fell, Lake District

Where have I been?
A month ago today, the social media onslaught had got to the point where I felt I had to get away. It was all getting too much. Both Macs, iPad and iPhone were all continually signed into Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, etc etc, and the barrage of pings and boings demanding my attention were becoming increasingly irritating. I suddenly felt overwhelmed. The pressure of having to write a weekly blog post, sufficiently intelligent and engaging to get people to read it just added to my woes. Writing for me is a real challenge as I’ve mentioned before. So in a moment of desperation, I went round and systematically signed out of everything and decided to put the blog on hold for a month. 


Everything went quiet. It felt liberating. By the end of the first week, I had almost completely put the whole concept of “social media” out of my mind. Occasionally someone would say to me “Did you see XXX's post on Facebook?” to which I would reply calmly “Nope, because…” and then I’d explain what I’d done. Most people thought I was nuts, but a few got it, and even empathised. 


There were times when I had the occasional thought worth sharing but I simply kept it to myself. I still posted photographs made with my phone to Instagram and to the Snaps page of my website and tried to keep up with Feedly, my news reader. 


I didn’t necessarily find that I had any more time to myself, but I certainly felt that the noise level had diminished. What with a busy young family, and a business to run there is a level of background noise that simply can’t be shut off, but the whole social media thing was turning a background hum into an unbearable roar.  To be able to reduce the decibel level to a more manageable state, made life far more bearable and gave me back much needed thinking time .

But now I’m ready to get back on it with a renewed vigour. Whether or not I re-enable all the notifications I had set up, I haven’t yet decided but I’m back contributing to the conversation and the blog is up and running again.

Why not try it for yourself? You never know what you’ve got til it’s gone.