First of all, let me say, that I am hesitant to even write this blog post, lest in doing so, I defeat one of the stated goals of this experiment by making a big deal of it; namely, to prove that teens are not addicted to social media, and it is not a big deal to give it up for a month.
Also, on that point, I have had people say “Ha! You picked February because it is the shortest month of the year.” *Cough, Brandon, Cough* While I admit that it was a fortunate coincidence, this was not a large part of my original reasoning for picking the month of February. February was simply a month that it did not appear (though I was later proved wrong) there would be much happening. I knew I would miss the Super Bowl (since I'm a huge sports fan anyway) and Valentines Day. Big Deal. But, to solve this little quandary I decided to extend my “Anti-Social Month” experiment to include the first several days in March.
So, what did I learn?
First, different people have varying opinions on teenagers and social networking There were some that said “Wow, you're doing THAT! Why?!”. There were others that said “Yeah, I don't get on my [Facebook] very often, so it's not a big deal.” But, by far, the biggest response I got was “Yeah, I need to do that too.”
Second, for me at least, doing this for a month was not really hard. Now, I know for some of my friends, an experiment like this would have been a harder proposition, living in a dorm room, or at home with internet access. We only have dial-up at my house, and I get on my Facebook page most of the time at the library, so it wasn't there staring me in the face all the time. There were times during the month when I felt “out of the loop”, or wished I could post about this or that, but altogether it was not particularly hard..
Third, during the past month, I began writing letters again, after about three months during which I had slacked off. It was refreshing to use an older (though not antiquated), more personal and meaningful form of communication. I did not get as many letter written as I had wished, but hope to continue this habit, of letter writing ,into the coming months and years.
Fourth, it was amazing how much could actually happen, unexpectedly, during one short month. The entire Middle East and North Africa erupted in protests. Apple released iPad 2 and the new MacBook Pros. Principal photography began on “The Hobbit” movie. The lead guitarist for Skillet, Ben Kasica, left the band to pursue other business ventures, and the possibility of another Narnia movie was announced, among other things.
So, in conclusion, the “Anti-social Month” experiment taught me a lot. It was good to take a break from the continuous stream of information, but I did occasionally miss the information and being able to add to the stream.
With that being said, over next several weeks, be watching for tweets with the #TDASM tag, which stands for: Thoughts During Anti-Social Month. I will be tweeting my thoughts on the various events which occurred during the past month, interspersed with my regular tweets.