One thing that surprises a lot of people when they get to know me, is that I rarely go on social media and I keep almost all notifications off on my phone. Despite the fact I make my living as a content creator on the internet, I don’t really spend that much time on social media or my phone.
I haven’t deleted the apps from my phone like many people in this ‘trend’ of going dark. Because sometimes you really do need to post or reply on the go. But I do it on my own time with my rules.
Two Types Of People
There are two types of people online. People that make more content than they consume and people that consume more content than they make. Most people actually don’t make any content. They only consume.
This isn’t a right or wrong situation. There is nothing wrong with only consuming content. Not everyone wants to be a content creator. However if you do make content I think its healthy to evaluate the role that content plays in your life.
Is scrolling social media for 30 minutes a day actually improving your life or bringing you joy? For me, it didn’t.
The only content I really consume is on YouTube, and most of the time its either playing in the background while I work on something else or its an educational video that is both entertaining me and improving my skills. Additionally I do get some joy out of scrolling Twitter from time to time, especially while lying in bed.
I go on social media to post what I need to post, and then I get off as quickly as possible. After that only logging on to reply to comments. In fact for most social media channels I post from my computer instead of my phone, utilizing scheduling tools as much as possible so I never have to open the social media site itself.
Personally I hate feeling my phone is summoning me. I want to use my phone when I want to use it. So every social media app has all notifications turn off, including Messenger apps. My phone is always on silent and I heavily utilize focus modes on my iPhone. I place my phone upside down on the table most of the time.
Another way I go dark is by never checking any of my DM’s on social media. A couple years ago I realized keeping up with social media DM’s were not worth the time investment or the stress. So I pretty much abandoned them entirely. If someone wants to reach out they have to do so via email.
When i’m doing something, every notification I get annoys me. It temporarily pulls me out of the moment from what i’m doing, and several of them in a short period of time will annoy the hell out of me. Is this a personality flaw? Maybe. But I overcome it by turning off as many notifications as possible.
Research suggests that the average person loses 2.1 hours per day as a result of distractions. Plus it takes 25 minutes to fully return to a task after being distracted.
Problems With This
There are some downsides to my approach. For one, my friends and family often comment that i’m the hardest person to get ahold of sometimes. Someone may text me and I won’t see it for a couple days. If someone tags me or invites me to something on Facebook i’m almost definitely never going to see it unless they tell me.
As far as the DM situation goes, i’m sure I miss out on potential clients and relationship building opportunities because I don’t check my DM’s. Generally most people figure out they can just email me, but some will comment saying they’ve DM’d me multiple times and I never reply.
If you’re a new content creator i’d say try to be on top of everything. But eventually you’ll get to a point where you have to decide where you draw the line. When you have 100,000 followers cross platform its nearly impossible to reply to every message or comment people send you. Even with an assistant helping me with email, I still struggle to get back to everyone.
Perhaps you’re a more social person than I am. Despite the fact i’ve published 700 YouTube videos and hundreds of social media clips, i’m quite the introvert in real life.
If you find yourself constantly drained, stressed and filled with anxiety dealing with notifications and social media apps… consider going dark.