My social media diet: More than one month cold turkey, and I am still going strong

So it’s been a month since my social media diet started, and I’m extremely happy so far. Quitting Twitter, Facebook and Reddit has gone much better than my running regimen or plans to drink less alcohol.

Someone forwarded me tweets by Dani Rodrik and Tyler Cowen, where one of them gave me four months before I was back tweeting. At the time, that sounded about right. Now I’m not so sure. Without the apps on my phone calling to me, I feel less distracted, and I am indeed reading more. My use of the New York Times app borders on obsessive, as I plumb the depths of the paper for something to read. I really must subscribe to something more. But I am also spending much more time with books, for which I am happy.

Now, at least a couple of friends have noted that I broke my ban on a couple of occasions. You sticklers are as correct as you are unhealthily preoccupied with my online activity. Succumbing to the demands of my extended family, I posted an exceptionally cute video of my kids to Facebook. And I tweeted out a random question that went unanswered (I want someone moving from Ottawa to either NYC or Chicago to bring my grandma’s dining room set to me). So there you have it: my confession is complete.

Unfortunately, I have replaced one distraction for another. Buying a home and moving are some of the most time consuming and excruciating tasks I have ever done. They play terribly (i.e. perfectly) to my neurotic and perfectionist nature. All my powers of micromanagement plus compulsive planning of all possible scenarios, honed by years of running panel surveys of criminals and combatants in rural Africa, have been brought to bear on this meaningless, tedious, and wholly self-serving task. Hence the house will be amazing and the move will be executed with a grace and perfection never before seen. My realtor, mortgage broker, and moving company stand in awe and at the same time slightly loathe me.

All that will be over in a month. I’ll reevaluate my social media ban then, but will probably keep blogging and broadcasting until then.