Mental Health Awareness Month 2022: An End to Social Media Version 2.0

It is that time of year again. This month is all about mental health. This year, if I’m not mistaken, will be my forth year talking about all things mental health. Last year I covered social media in the most rudimentary form. Broken and withered from the Pandemic, I wrote an article in the heat of the moment and since then was wondering how I could improve the topic. When I wrote what was essentially a rough draft for how I wanted to live my life in the modern age, I had no answers for questions I found myself facing. Last year I ended the article with “I have no solution”, which in hindsight, doesn’t make for a great read. There was no call to action, only despair. As promised from last year, I’m trying a new approach with my mental health articles. I’m approaching them from a more upbeat perspective and am focused more on practical articles.

A life without social media

Part of the goal with this article is to start discussing the implications of social media in modern society. When I wrote “Goodbye Social Media” I worked on it at different stages; a few weeks and then a couple months of a complete disconnect. Since then, it’s been a lot of trial and error as I’ve begun to navigate life without Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (not to mention Snapchat and TikTok). Overall, not much seems amiss. A year in and I can safely say I’m OK. The first few months were a lot of uninstalling and reinstalling but past that point I accomplished my goal. If people want to reach me, they can have my phone number. If they want to make sure I’m not dead? They can read my blog.

The health implications

I read a lot. So it’s to my surprise there is so little literature on the impact of social media and there is little debate on the consequences of letting technology dictate our lives. Recently, I have noticed mild interest beyond the occasional sensation piece and that was sparked most recently by Facebook. Yet if I were to do a search, I would still find very little. I am against a Mark Zuckerberg Metaverse and in all reality, Metaverses in general. Technology is a tool, not a way of life.

Am I the only one?

The experiment has ultimately been a musing in isolation. How much agency do we have if we venture past social norms? Am I the weird one for having people contact me via text? I had someone ask me for my Instagram recently and I told them I did a full social media disconnect. All-in-all when I mention this to people the response has been positive and I have yet to have someone respond in the negative.

The Dating Apps

The dating apps are where I struggle the most. These are the apps that get reinstalled and uninstalled on a regular cycle. Over the last year, it has become less frequent as I’ve started to approach dating differently. I don’t care much for dating other than the fact that ultimately I do not want to die alone. I miss early childhood and romance that lasted well into college. When one could simply chat with someone and let a relationship develop organically. Now, I am Nickle and dimed for the opportunity of love. I have tried every dating app from Earth to Alpha Centauri and they have only led to a handful of dates; many conversations that ultimately go nowhere.

My Social Media Indulgence

Over the course of my experiment I briefly discovered reddit. After a couple months, I’ve uninstalled it and hope it stays that way. Reddit isn’t bad compared to some of the other social media out there but it offers no real benefit and has made sleep difficult the last couple of months.

What does it all mean?

Is there any true benefit to a full social media disconnect? As far as tangible data on myself, I have none. Do I overall feel better? Yes. But what does that mean? Is it truly better to not be constantly scrolling through social media and seeing an ad every other post on Facebook? In theory, yes. But does it lead to a more fulfilling life, more productivity, etc.? That is tougher to say. When I removed the need to post, has that somehow damaged my social standing? That should I not post through a tinted lens I simply disappear from this universe? Most likely not, but you have to wonder.

How has it been?

Overall, great! LinkedIn is the most I use and outside of that I’m just living inside my small bubble. I hang out with friends and every aspect of my life has been localized. The next step I suppose is to talk more openly about moving away from social media. I’m beyond curious to know what others are doing. Social Media used to rule over my life but now it simply is. A minimal digital footprint, much like I had when I was growing up. When I was growing up, computer labs were just being introduced to classrooms and the internet rocked. Now it’s a minefield to navigate and I just can’t convince myself society is benefitting from it as a whole. I’d like to talk more about it in the future but for now I’m ok with the conversations I have had. If you are curious about my original journey, I’ll include the link below. It’s a fascinating piece to reread now that I’ve been off social media for quite a while now.


And as typical, this month will ramp up as I explore every aspect of mental health. The two articles planned for the next couple weeks are an exploration into my name and it’s link to my identity and then a delve into my fathers death and it’s impact on me. The articles are helpful to write so that I don’t become closed off and so that I can express myself in healthy manners.

Last years social media article: Goodbye Social Media

Thanks for reading!

Dad: A poem by Mike Cole

I hope you’re proud of all that I’ve done

It hasn’t been easy, this road that I’m on

And I keep walking, hoping the snow will clear

A ship without a sail, no rudder to steer

It’s been two years since you’ve been gone and that’s not a lot of time

Yet I persevere in the new winds and know you guide me to calmer shores.


To wrap up National Poetry Month, I wanted to close with a poem about my dad. I did this last year and it only seems fitting that I do it again this year. For those that don’t know, he passed away in October 2019. I haven’t talked about it much since his death and poetry to me has always been a form of expression, a way to put to words topics that have been too difficult to talk about. As we head into Mental Health Awareness Month, I want to open up more and talk about his death as I think it’ll help heal the soul.

My father was a sailor for my entire life so with poems about him I want to capture that essence. There’s a lot I could have learned about sailing from him but it’s only been since his passing that I’ve found interest in it. Writing about it is a way to feel close to what has been lost.


That’s it! National Poetry Month is officially over (on this blog). We covered Nature, Love, and Lost this month. The Month of May is dedicated to Mental Health. The articles have been drafted and I’m adding the finishing touches. It’ll be a range of topics and I think I’ve struck a good balance for next month. See you then!

A flip of the coin: A poem by Mike Cole

He flipped a coin, wondering where it’d land.

Heads or tails he pondered, mulling the coin in his hand.

Would he flip again should the coin land wrong?

He had done this dance before, he had sung this song.

The coin glinted in the fading sun.

One last flip, before the day was done…

December 2021 Newsletter: A crazy couple of months.

So it is now officially November December. A lot has happened since September and I’ve risen from the dead to give an update.

The New

Towards the end of September, I had accepted an offer to become an insurance account manager. Come mid October, the offer slipped from my hands and within a matter of weeks I landed a new job as a Welcome Desk Associate. October was stressful but ended on a high note as I’m now making money and can take a deep breath after what has been pure chaos for a little over a year now.

Horror Month: Oops

I had big plans for October and ultimately, they fell through… Horror Month I still think will be fun but I have begun questioning the limitations of making it a story centric month. I had great ideas for horror themed poetry and articles but was so focused on short stories that I ultimately did nothing. That said, I might repurpose some of the drafts that never saw the light of day for future short stories. Horror month is my most experimental so I honestly don’t know if I want to keep it. All other series from last year were a resounding success (Mental Health, Sustainability, and Poetry) but Horror Month has proven tricky. I’ll be tinkering with the final series category yet again… I’ve done Horror Month for one year so I might try simply making a Short Story Month.

Thanksgiving

It has come and gone. I sang, I ate, and even got my haircut. For the first time in about four years, I was able to spend it with my cousins and relatives. No Black Friday and no Cyber Monday! It was fun, cheery, and motivation to get my life in order.

Upcoming Plans

For this month, this is it. The blog was set up last year to make it easy to post while having a job, so I’m finally putting that theory to the test. Write a book? I now have time. Create a podcast? I can really dive into that. Gain certificate after certificate to build credentials for work? Also very feasible. And of course, blog!

The Winter season (aka now) will be slow filled with poetry and delight; two poems, spread out between the December weeks. Come 2022 I’ll be doing Poetry, Mental Health, and Sustainability Month so that will keep me quite busy as I explore those topics further. I have some great ideas and am looking forward to begin work on each. And the Fourth Series will land one of these days. Short Story Month is sounding much better the more and more I say it.

This Last Year.

Has been a huge success. I am grateful for how much the blog has grown and however crazy my life has gotten, through the ups and downs, my blog has been here. From a blog I never expected anyone to read to now, it’s been a journey I’ve enjoyed. As we get closer to January, I’m glad to keep writing and improve myself in the process. Thanks for reading and stay safe as we usher in a new year!

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