I was a social media addict, and days seem longer now that I've cut back – Helen Martin

For a couple of weeks, I’ve cut back on Twitter. I check it occasionally, or daily for those I really know and want to keep in touch with.

Sunday, 6th December 2020, 4:45 pm
Twitter and other forms of social media can become an all-consuming passion (Picture: Manan Vatsyayana/AFP via Getty Images)

I felt I was addicted because I might have spent three hours a day or more to keep up with tweets.

It’s not surprising as a controversial columnist that I get a few challenges and critiques which are totally acceptable. It’s only really rude and nasty responders I block.

I’ve even made some Twitter “pals” who I don’t actually know but we can agree or disagree nicely and follow each other. We really do build up a Twitter “friendship”.

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There are some people who seem to be on Twitter from morning until night, many of whom are interesting and campaigning one way or another, or enjoying their chats. And they’re pleasant too.

But for me, my days felt shorter. It’s easy to keep up with new tweets, almost like getting gripped by a novel, then checking the time to realise two hours have passed, when I clicked on for just a quick update.

Now my days feel longer. I sleep longer too because I go to bed, read a couple of chapters of a book, turn the lights out and close my eyes, rather than spending another hour or more on Twitter.

I no longer have warnings popping up on my phone saying how many hours I’ve spent. (I thought that was just a normal piece of info, not a warning.) And I imagine next month’s bill might be lower.

Social media might be fun – but it certainly has downsides.

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