The first time I truly took a break from social media was in 2015, at a summer camp for burned-out adults called "Camp Grounded."
There were three rules: Take a camp name of your choosing, like Luna or Huckleberry, avoid talking about "W," meaning work, and ditch all electronics at the door. At an arrival ceremony deep in the California Redwoods, volunteers in hazmat suits zipped up our devices into brown bags, leaving them locked away in a so-called "Robot Decontamination Area."
That might seem extreme, a total gimmick.
But it prompted some deep discussion among my campmates. I recall arguing with friends about whether our experience was essentially a PG version of Burning Man, or a harbinger of something bigger, a growing discontent among millennials with social media.
At that time, social media companies seemed unstoppable, a daily part of life. Instagram and Facebook were a habit that very few people questioned, with a few notable exceptions. I had well-meaning friends who worked at these companies who believed with an almost cult-like fervor in the positive impact of bringing the world closer together.
That's all starting to change.
Social media companies, most notably Facebook, have faced a reckoning in the past year, with reports surfacing about an infiltration of Russian propaganda to influence elections, misuse user data, and countless other examples of the platform being used for ill.