Are you spending less time on social media this year?

A few weeks ago, I put myself on a social media diet. I decided I would check for updates twice a day, no more.

I still post updates throughout the day when it strikes me to do so, like this one. But I don’t check for replies, or check other people’s updates, at other than my scheduled times.

I’m amazed and thrilled by how much time that frees up for me. Although there is also a small voice that wonders how much time I’ve wasted over the past five years obsessively checking social media for updates. If you wondered why there’s still no cure for cancer, well, now you know.

This change wasn’t difficult at all. I didn’t miss it. I often find myself looking forward to checking social media, but in a good way, the way you look forward to doing something you enjoy.

My only big concern about the cutback on social media use is that I might miss out on a breaking news story. But I’ll figure something out for that, or live with the tradeoff.

When I say I’m checking social media twice a day, that’s a simplification. I started at twice a day, decided that was too infrequent, went up to four times a day, decided that was too much, and now I’m back to twice a day.

Also, I’ll check social media if I have a good reason to do it — but first I ask myself if it really is a good reason, and almost always the answer is no. But if I find out about a breaking news story of the magnitude of the bin Laden assassination, I’ll open up a Twitter or Google+ stream and leave it running in my second monitor.

How about you? Are you making any effort to cut back on social media?

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