So it’s a bit ironic, a journalist writing about avoiding using social media.
The fundamental role of sourcing news has changed so much that it’s hard to conduct any sort of research without, at some point, finding yourself on a social media platform.
From finding new events and stories, checking in with people who’ve posted amazing videos to ask they’re fine with us sharing their content, to verifying bigger stories – social media is one of the modern journalist’s primary tools.
The downside, of course, is that social media is like chocolate. As long as it’s sitting there in front of you, you can’t stop eating it (okay maybe that’s just me).
During my shift at work, I’ll monitor social media for all sorts of reasons – breaking stories, old stories resurfacing, comments and feedback from readers, new perspectives on different issues, finding new commentators.
But it’s almost impossible to draw a line between the times when social media use is for work, and for recreation.
In my hours off it’s hard to stop the endless scrolling through Twitter and Facebook, Instagram and other social platforms – just in case I miss something.
I finally cracked it last week. I took all social media apps off my private phone and replaced them with apps that are more productive and, frankly, more interesting.
Kindle and podcasts: literary podcasts, political, and fiction. It’s refreshing to concentrate on a full narrative rather than constant quick hits of social media adrenaline. I’m also learning a new language, thanks to an app that gives me just 10 minutes a day to work through basic language tasks.
My favourite app is for yoga. When I can’t sleep, rather than staring at Twitter for an hour, I now get up and do 20 minutes of yoga before falling back into bed. Out like a light.
Social media? Great for work. But otherwise, I’ve got a language to learn.