100-day social media break

I’ve decided to take a 100-day break from social media in order to focus on some important projects I have brewing.

From March 21st until July 1st I’m going to attempt to focus on medium- and long-form content on my blog and Inside.com’s Daily Brief email. Oh yeah, Brockman sold my book, and I’m going to spend the next year writing it, so it’s time to get off the social media crack pipe.

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I love social media. It’s given me a huge megaphone, but I’ve found myself starting and ending my days on Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram for at least 20 minutes combined. Those minutes add up to around 1,200 a month and I need those hours back. Also, sometimes that 20 minutes at night turned into an hour, and it simply feels unhealthy to get wound up debating stuff at midnight.

Like many of you, I go into defensive mode during the day, constantly responding to notifications on my desktop, iPad, and iPhone — as well as important emails. I’ve turned all notifications off and I’m staying off social during the day unless it’s to share a medium- or long-form piece of writing.

No social during the day should save another hour — that’s about two hours saved per day.

If I get back 50 hours per month combined, that’s an extra week. What am I going to lose? Well, I’m going to miss interacting with everyone consistently, getting breaking news and staying up-to-date on culture.

My hope is that the Inside.com Daily Brief gets me enough culture and content during this 100-day test that I don’t miss that aspect of social media.

Right now, I’m not sure how I’m going to execute on this plan technically. I could have my EA change all my social passwords and not let me into them no matter what — but I think that would quickly turn into that classic scene from Young Frankenstein, where Gene Wilder locks himself in the cell with his monstrous creation.

For now, I’ve put my social apps in a folder in the back of my iPhone and I’m logging out of them in my browsers, so there are at least some extra steps required to access them.

I will keep BufferApp logged in so I can share content about my events, products, startups, and blog posts. I’m going to try and automate some percentage of this (i.e., WordPress can automatically Tweet the latest posts from Calacanis.com).

Yesterday, I was 80% less active on social media and I was massively productive, writing two blog posts, an Editor’s Note for Inside.com, three long emails of note, most of the board deck for Inside.com’s Wednesday meeting, and recording a podcast. Also, I was less distracted at home with the family — where we are expecting twin girls any day now. (Another major reason for this effort!)

The most challenging moments today were in my Ubers to and from work, walking the dogs, waking up and going to bed — I was kind of Jonesing, to be honest. Instead of using social in my Ubers, I made phone calls, and I wrote this piece while letting the bulldogs do their business.

Not sure how this will all work out, but I’m excited to see how my brain chemistry and productivity change as I get off the hamster wheel.

Questions:

1/ How much time do you spend on social a day?
2/ Have you ever tried to cut back? How did it go?
3/ What tips do you have for cutting the addiction?

best @jason