I’m taking a break; a long break! I’ve deleted all social media apps from my phone and all social media shortcuts and bookmarks from my browsers. I haven’t yet deleted my accounts, but that may happen sooner than later!

I’ve noticed that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and almost all the others that I checked into are bastions for negativity. If you say something “pro” anything, you’ll be bombarded by trolls who say they are “con” that thing! It’s not necessarily conservative vs. liberal, left vs. right, or politics; it’s mainly others being obnoxious because they believe that they can get away with it!

The Information Superhighway has become an Information Sludge Canal! You can’t find any information on any topic without false data being injected from all sides. This leads to a growth of false information because whose to say what’s actually right and wrong these days? I give you the recent growth of the online presence of the Flat Earth Society as an example.

Negativity, for negativity’s sake has a depressing effect on society. Even though you know that trolls are being trolls and you can intellectually dismiss them, the truth is that your outlook on life will suffer. You will find yourself becoming more depressed as the days wear on. You will become more angry at the little things in life. You will not be pleasant to be around. This is the fault of the trolls; and of course, it’s your fault as well!

You have a responsibility to take care of yourself and do what it takes to ensure you and your family thrive. You can’t take away the First Amendment rights of the trolls, and you can’t easily change your reaction to the pervasive online negativity. You can, however, remove the stimulus, i.e., get rid of social media!

I’ve missed a few events that I wanted to attend because of the removal of Facebook. I still have my phone and send and receive texts and emails, so I’m still available. I just don’t receive or acknowledge Messenger messages, tweets, or Instagram notifications any longer. There are contacts that I have only on social media that I no longer hear anything from. I may be missing an opportunity for a gig, but right now, it doesn’t matter. They have my contact information. If t’s important, they can reach me!

It’s been a little over a week since going cold turkey and I have to say, it’s been rough! The withdrawal pains are real! I still find myself looking at my phone throughout the day hoping to see a notification before I realize that there won’t be one coming. I linger over typing in the URL for Facebook… just to see what’s up, but stop myself knowing it’s for the best!

I found that I have more time for myself without social media. I can get things done at work faster than before because I don’t have the distractions of social media! I can drive the streets without worrying about that incoming notification. Is it important or is it about someone’s cat? All of that worry is gone!

I’m not saying I’ll be permanently off of social media, but I need some time away. Like a bad relationship, I need to “take a break” for a while. And it’s been nice! I suggest to all out there that you will see sunshine for what it is! You will be able to enjoy a meal without the worry of posting a picture of it before hand. You can get your work done and enjoy your free time more fully.

Yes, there are things I’ll miss, but what I’m gaining is so much better! As a gift to yourself and your family this holiday season, take a break from social media and enjoy the freedom. YOu won’t regret it!