It was at the Yankees-Astros game last week when I first had the sniffles. A day later, it was clear that it was going to be a messy cold and eventually an energy sapping flu. It is pretty much like clockwork, at the end of winter and at the start of fall, I promptly fall prey to the cold/flu virus. The only remedy that works for me is actually very simple — I drink a lot of Theraflu and take Nyquill. They both lead to sleep and sleep is the best way to deal with this fever. It takes three to four days before I get back to normal, or close enough.
It has been about three days since I have been holed up in my apartment, doing nothing much, except reading a book and sleeping. I have not spent much time looking into the screens. Why? Well on Thursday I deleted all social apps – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat – from all my devices. I was spending way too much time on the social web. There was this feeling of anxiousness that I couldn’t really explain. I don’t have any deep explanations of feeling overwhelmed by social web anxiety, though it seems ex-Beats Music guy Ian Rodgers has some of his own reasons.
How does it feel? For the first 24 hours I often wondered what was happening in the world, what was I missing out? What is @StartupLJackson saying? Whose DMs did I miss? What about missed birthdays? What about all these photos I took in New York? Shouldn’t I be sharing them on Instagram. What about the crazy antics of Naveen and MSG on Snapchat?
For a day being disconnected from the social web felt very much like when you give up smoking – the urge to cheat is very high because your brain is programmed to react in a certain fashion. Just as I quit smoking for the sake of my health, I want to tame my usage of social media, for the same if my mental health. I found that I was spending so much time on the social networks that I was not writing as much or reading as much.
It is day 3 of being in the non-social mode and I already feel less anxious about the state of the Twittersphere. Nuzzel can give me a quick update on what’s making the rounds in my social circles. Nothing very much – except for news, with an occasional essay worth reading. My Reeder, on the other hand is full of good articles from some of my favorite writers and publications and blogs.
I do have to admit — I miss Instagram and the images. It will be hard to contain my addiction for the visual feast it provides. As for Facebook, well I don’t know — lets see how I feel in a week: for that is how long as I have given myself to be “no-social.” As for my cold/flu, I am pretty hopeful that I will be back to work in the new week.
October 11, 2015, San Francisco
PS: If you see any links from me on social web, don’t worry it’s not me — it is automatic sharing in WordPress that publishes them to the social networks!