I’ve spent January in a digital detox. No Twitter, no Facebook, nothing that one might call social media.
Why did I do it? Two reasons: The first because someone asked me to do so and the other because I felt social media was taking over my life.
As an ex-broadcaster of sorts, I used it as a way of broadcasting my thoughts and enjoyed it to a certain extent, but I felt I was on it too much. Apps were deleted and bookmarks removed.
So what was it like?
The first few days were quite strange to be honest, a little twitchy, what was I missing? It was hard work. Then, it all calmed down. I noticed I wasn’t looking or picking up my phone as much, often leaving it on the table rather than constantly having it by my side.
I gave a trusted friend at TeamRock my password so they could promote key events and such like, but nothing from me. I never looked at it once.
Some people I know wondered what had happened; others called to ask if I was OK. The big thing I noticed was that I was sleeping a lot better, dropping off much sooner. Instead of having a look before bedtime, I just went to bed. I didn’t see anything that got my mind racing or was affected by the so-called ‘blue light’ that so many blame a sleepless night on.
I wasn’t aware of what was going on because I wasn’t looking. In retrospect, most of my timeline would be termed as trivial, mixed with one or two news feeds and an occasional amusing moment to make me smile. The only thing that escaped me was the immediacy of news. It got to me eventually, just not the moment it broke. I can live with that.
Important things came to me from other media (Facebook is my key family connection and with nearly 15 of us, you can see why) and knowing I wasn’t on, they just called me.
Yes, people picked up a real phone!
I don’t know if I’ve missed anything or if anyone missed me, but I suspect not.
Then the Godfather of radio died. My daughter called me with the news because she knew he was a hero of mine.
Two people inspired me to go into radio. One was Ray Moore, and the other was Terry himself. I met him a few times in my line of work but even though we were not friends, I regarded him as one. The best of the best, a broadcaster’s broadcaster. I shed a tear and don’t mind saying so. Some people have that power. He knew the rules and broke them every day; that was his secret.
With a day before the end of my self-imposed month away, I turned Twitter back on. It was the urge to say just a few words about him that made me break my own rule, one day sooner than I would have wished for but hey, he’s worth it.