Interview with CNBC’s Kelly Evans, who cut ties with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 30: CNBC Reporter, Kelly Evans speaks during the 5th annual Executive Marketing Summit at the New York Stock Exchange on September 30, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 30: CNBC Reporter, Kelly Evans speaks during the 5th annual Executive Marketing Summit at the New York Stock Exchange on September 30, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

By RODNEY HO/ rho@ajc.com, originally filed Monday, August 1, 2016

As a national media figure, CNBC “Closing Bell” co-anchor Kelly Evans did the unthinkable last month: she cut ties from Twitter, de-activating her account.

Last year, she had already done the same with Facebook and Instagram.

Evans said she had become overly consumed with social media and needed to go cold turkey.

“I was notorious in the past for never answering my phone or responding to texts,” said Evans, who will be in Atlanta Tuesday to do her “Closing Bell” show live from the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce overlooking Centennial Olympic Park. “I was missing for weeks and months at a time.” She was “horribly delinquent” on her corporate expense card. She even lost healthcare for a year because she missed the deadline.

She wrote about this self-imposed exile from social media on her Spark column two weeks ago on CNBC.com.

In it, she said it wasn’t entirely cyber-bullying that drove her away.

I shut down social media because I needed to shut out online distractions and engage with the people, issues, and work right in front of me.

Evans now feels more engaged with the real world. “It’s amazing,” she mused. “I’m super calm. I’m actually enjoying it. I’ve been watching ‘Seinfeld.” You only need a few close friends in your life. That means a lot more than the illusion of having 50,000 so-called friends who aren’t there for you.”

She said Facebook in particular engenders social anxiety. “Someone told me Facebook is like PR Newswire for your friends,” Evans said.

Evans said people often use social media as a way to avoid real discussions and real issues in their lives. And while many people can balance their lives properly with social media, she couldn’t coexist with it. She always felt compelled to answer people – or it would stress her out.

Now she has more time to pursue her CFA exam to be qualified to become a financial analyst. She’s not planning to leave CNBC for a new career. She just wants to better understand finance so she could ask better questions and better explain difficult, complex issues in a way her audience can absorb. “It’s hard to be professional if you don’t know the material,” she said. “I want to be able to connect the dots from different fields.”

Evans, who began her career as a Wall Street Journal Reporter from 2007 to 2012, has enjoyed her time doing TV.

“The learning curve was steep,” she said. “It’s been one immersive experience after another. It has pushed and stretched me. It’s challenging and fun. I would say I didn’t know how little I knew about doing television until I got here.”

Evans’ scheduled guests in Atlanta Tuesday from 3 to 5 p.m.

  • Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian
  • Rapper, entrepreneur and actor Chris Bridges aka “Ludacris”
  • Recording artist and record producer Jermaine Dupri
  • Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning
  • Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart
  • Atlanta Falcons CEO Rich McKay
  • Home Depot CEO Craig Menear
  • UPS CFO Richard Peretz

 

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