A Social Media Fast

 

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YouTubers have to promote their content and be visible. They have to be present on social media. That’s the common wisdom, anyway, but do we really know this? Is this constant sharing, constant online interaction really necessary? And does it contribute to burnout?

I use Twitter professionally to promote our Socratica SciComm work, and to stay updated by scientists and science communicators. But it’s also a social outlet, connecting with my peers – because, let’s face it, being a YouTuber is a weird job. It’s not like we have coworkers.

No one else but a fellow YouTuber understands the strange details of our jobs (good and bad). When someone leaves a nasty comment on one of our videos (unbelievable, the sorts of creeps math and science videos attract), I can point it out to my online friends and we can support each other. When a friend reaches a subscriber milestone, we can all celebrate together.

In that way, Twitter has served a much larger purpose for me, allowing me to connect with fellow Edutubers (that’s how I met the We Create Edu group) and find some much-needed camaraderie.

touching phone

But there has been a slow, steady creep of social media into my life, and like so many others, I’ve found myself scrolling, scrolling through Twitter, Instagram, TikTok – and to what end?

Thankfully I got off of Facebook years ago. And for the next 40 days, I’m giving up the rest of it. I’m not a practicing Catholic, but it’s my family tradition, and the ritual of Lent appeals to my Transcendental nature.  (I usually give up popcorn.)

This year, no more endless scrolling and online dopamine hits. I’ll let you know how it goes.

~KHH

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