Weekends Free of Social Media (Day 19)

Unplugging from the digital world for two days a week.

Think what you will about TED Talks, I however, recently did hear a decent one. This particular one, Quit Social Media, brought up some good points. Call it pathetic, call it immature, I totally am aware of the tendencies toward jealousy and envy when looking at other people’s feeds mindlessly in my in between time, or even as a thing I do in leisure. I am also aware of my tendency to put forth what I think of as myself, or the self I want people online to see, even people that I see regularly in real life.

When people aren’t fine-tuning their lives to let you see what they want you to, they are clogging your feed with memes and passive aggressive posts that are all over the spectrum from political to personal to racial. Every now and then you get a thought-provoking article, but we all know that we have never had our minds and actions changed in the long run by anything we’ve seen on social media. It may be immature of me but I get annoyed as hell going on social media; I alsofind that it’s something that I do in my down time without even thinking about it.

The two days free is something that I know will help. Facebook is pretty much the only social media platform I use frequently. I use others, but that’s my main hub. Because of that, I’ve deleted my profile twice and made a new one each time.

I can empathize with those who say they use it to keep in touch with family and friends that live far away because I actually do that…in Messenger…which is now a separate app from Facebook. I also Skype people often and (however horrible I am at sticking to it) occasionally even handwrite letters.

What I noticed when I deleted my Facebook and came back was not only how little I used it, but how little I wanted to use it. It’s like the guy said in the TED Talk, I went through a sort of detox. I remember when I first deleted my account, typing in that letter “f” in the address bar and going to profile that didn’t exist. It was weird. It was kinda scary, seeing firsthand one of the many things I had been conditioning myself to do without thought.

I remember what a professor of mine said, how after a while of not being “in the loop,” you kind of take pride in it. We’ve been fed the lie of newspapers, of left and right winged media, of libertarian online forums, of everyone pushing you to be “woke,” that you as a citizen you should always be informed about everything. Truth is, no one has the capacity to always ingest every little thing that happens in our friends’ newsfeeds, let alone in our country, let alone the world over. You don’t need to always know. You’ll probably be happier without knowing. I don’t know.

I know from experience that I am a lot less anxious, a lot less envious and jealous and a lot less impulsive and irritated when I’m not on social media all the time. On top of the hour before bed and hour after waking of no screen time I started, I’m going to add no social media as well over the weekends.

The reclamation of my time is something that I am finding increasing value in. I’m not trying to bash anyone who just likes that nor is what I’m about to say meant to be super critical. But if you really want spend large amounts of time doing something “entertaining” that research has shown actually makes people in general less happy, go for it. But I’m done living inside these little bubbles I keep creating for myself, at least I am for two days a week.

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