2021: More Social, Less Media

Mark Palfreeman
6 min readJan 8, 2021

After the last of our good habits tapered off with the Fall, Anna and I took a two-week social media hiatus for Christmas break. I know this isn’t novel anymore, but it remains surprisingly difficult. Why?

It took me four days to edit this post, finally nixing every instance of “we,” “us,” and “you” to focus just on my own experience. Thus, things got more personal. And challenging. This post is for me, but if it’s helpful to anyone else, I always love discussing how technology interacts with life, happiness, and goals.

Here are my thoughts about social media tools and how I plan to use them (or not) this year.

Net benefit

I enjoy social media apps; otherwise, I wouldn’t use them. But their downsides are well documented. If something is at all valuable, I tend to ignore its harmful effects and can’t give it up. And yet, I’m no mere animal! I need to assess the net benefit of my tools instead of worrying I’ll miss out on any good thing.

Cal Newport (author of Deep Work and Digital Minimalism) explains it like this:

“Many digital maximalists, who spend their days immersed in a dreary slog of apps and clicks, justify their behavior by listing all of the potential benefits they would miss if they began culling services from their life. I don’t buy this argument…