educator, writer, speaker, devoted family man, amateur philosopher, chess enthusiast, basketball junkie, connoisseur of fine hip hop, and purveyor of wit and wisdom

Pulling the Plug


A couple weeks ago, on the morning of February 1, I deactivated my social media accounts.

Last year, I wrote about this whole internet fad disappearing. But, lo and behold, the internet is still here.  So I had to take control and divorce myself from social media.

The hours and hours of procrastinating on sites like Facebook and Instagram are gone.  My head feels lighter and distraction-free.  I’m reading more in-depth news articles, I’m doing a LOT more writing, and I’m going out to places and having real conversations with real people.

I think I got more stuff done in the past two weeks than I have in the past two months.  I took my wife to a concert, I caught up on my grading for my English classes, I watched as my 11-year-old performed in the county honor band performance inside the historic University of Redlands memorial chapel, and I set up meetings with mentors to help me launch my business later this year.  The only problem is that I would normally share all of this stuff with my friends on Facebook.

I asked my wife if she wanted to share any of this on Facebook, and she told me that she deactivated her Facebook account six weeks ago.  I had no idea.

My mother is a Facebook fanatic.  She’s probably on Facebook right this second.  When I told her that I deactivated my Facebook account, she asked “But how will I see what my grandkids are up to?”  I guess the fact that we live 15 minutes from each other never crossed her mind.

Some would say that writing posts here on my blog is a form of social media use.  I don’t agree.  Yes, there are communities of bloggers, but this world is a bit different.  The instant gratification of liking and poking and clicking around typical social media sites doesn’t really happen here.  It takes one second to view and like an Instagram picture.  It takes ten minutes to read one average-sized post on my favorite blog.  And most of the writing on blogs are thoughtful, interesting, high-quality pieces.  My Facebook feed, on the other hand, was filled with celebrity memes, Donald Trump jokes, and links to cat videos.  Spending time on my favorite blogs is a process that is much slower and deliberate…and that’s a good thing.  It’s something that I have to make time for in my schedule.

So I have to go now.  I’m taking my kids to an indoor trampoline place to burn off some of their Valentines Day candy.


2 comments on “Pulling the Plug

  1. Grab the Lapels
    March 28, 2016

    Congratulations! I deactivated my Facebook account last May. It was like someone gave me water after I crawled through the desert. I couldn’t handle one more snotty meme, one more brazen comment no sane person would say in face-to-face life. Only last week did I reactivate my account. Why? Because many of my family and friends are having babies and weddings and like to share pictures. These folks live 200+ miles away from me. For almost a year, I was fine without Facebook. But I know that I cannot ask people to make the extra special effort of texting me pictures when I can so easily be on Facebook. My first order of business was to delete everyone who isn’t a family member or best friend. Second, “unfollow” all family members who excessively share political messages on Facebook. I am not an audience member at a political rally. Third, I only check Facebook once per week, I do not create updates of my own, people cannot tag me unless I approve it, and I do not have Facebook on my phone. This has worked well for me, but I needed those 10 months to get it together.

  2. Dr. Robert Brown
    March 28, 2016

    GTL – Thanks for leaving the comment. It’s impressive and refreshing to hear people’s “unplugging” stories. I’ve used the past couple months to finish writing a book that I started two years ago. It feels good. I will have to rejoin the social media world soon, though, to promote the book.

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This entry was posted on February 14, 2016 by in Uncategorized.

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Soulquarian Quote of the Day

"There is no hip hop manual for growing old...The 22-year-old college grad who used to love the Roots in 1994 never left. He’s just 40 now and has a wife and kids and doesn’t feel like spending all night at a club."

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