UPDATED! Editorial: Why I’m Taking a Break from Social Media (and the News Media) Until After the U.S. Election

I’m writing this blogpost lying on my sofa, using the WordPress app on my iPad. It’s been a long, long, long workweek, and I am exhausted. If I am not working, I have been sleeping (and vice versa). And tonight, I have made a decision.

I will be avoiding ALL social media and news media until after the U.S. federal election is over. I have already successfully broken my Facebook addiction, but I am also going to stay off Twitter and Reddit as well. I will be taking an extended break from the news media as well. No more popping into Google News every few hours. And, of course, my TV set is busted, so no TV news, either!

I will instead narrow my focus to those matters that I actually have some control over: my full-time paying job with my university library system, and my blogging. My blogposts are automatically set up to be posted to my Twitter feed, but I’m going to see if I can step away from checking my Twitter feed every few hours (and stay off Reddit, too).

I’ll still be on Discord, of course. And I will still be writing about social VR, virtual worlds, and the metaverse on this blog.  So I’ll still be around. 

I just feel I need to take this break to focus on what’s really important, rather than fret and worry about all the things going on in the outside world that I have absolutely zero control over. It’s time to hit the pause button and look after my own mental health and well-being.

UPDATE Sept. 19th, 2020: After sleeping on it, I had a few more thoughts.

Making a resolution is one thing; keeping it is another. I may find myself falling back into checking the newsfeeds, or I might be able to replace some old, bad habits with new, healthier ones.

All I know is that I feel an urge to make some changes in my life in pursuit of wholeness and healing, and one of them is to spend less time obsessively scrolling through a “doomfeed” of bad news.

And another change is to spend less time hanging out in the echo chamber of social media. I am aware of FOMO: the Fear Of Missing Out on something that’s happening. But sometimes, you just need to take a break, and hit the pause button. That’s what I am going to do (or, at least, attempt to do) over the next two months.

Wish me luck!

Photo by Anisur Rahman on Unsplash