At first, I didn’t think I had an addiction. Getting up in the mornings reaching for my phone, with my eyes adjusting to the glare, wasn’t a sign. Everyone else does it. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard people say they start their day by looking at their cell phone. I was one out of, who knows, thousands of those who used their phone as a morning ritual?
For me, the morning started by resetting my alarm. If I had enough energy to keep my eyes opened, my next move would be SnapChat. Don’t ask me why I loved taking a snap of the time I woke up. It made me look like I was serious about my mornings, I guess. Next was Facebook, Instagram, and I would give Twitter a few seconds of my time.
On occasion, when I wanted to take my mornings seriously, I’d check my email, news, and even Bible Gateway. By the time I completed my routine, I distracted myself from getting the extra rest my body craved. I would shut my alarm off, begrudging, before heading to the shower. A harmless way to start my day, one would think.
However, as of March 1st, 2017, I deleted my social media accounts from my phone. The accounts are still active, and at any time I can log into them if I please. But, deleting them from my phone has made the effort a little difficult.
Ever since last year around the holidays I’ve been doing things a little different. Inspired to focus on more important things, I became aware of the value of my time. Instead of filtering through other people’s thoughts I’ve made more time for my own. And it’s been a pleasure, I must add.
Nowadays, it’s rare to see someone not attached to their phone or their social feeds. It’s questionable if you say you don’t have a Facebook. And the new norm at dinner is to take the perfect picture before you please your hunger pains. In my case, I would take a bite or two then a picture. It’s without a doubt, social media has taken over.
At some point, these sources of connection were only a resource to connect. How did we get to the place where we need it in our lives? I don’t know. But, I knew after taking the apps off my phone I didn’t need them. I wanted them. I liked them. They gave me something to do during my free time. The only problem was, they became a distraction from the time I needed to get things done.
This reminds me of when I was a kid, and we got a Nintendo . My mom, dad, sister, and I would play Super Mario Bros until three o’clock in the morning. Then we would drag our butts around exhausted the next day. It went on for weeks, it might have been months, before we all knew we had a problem.
My mom stopped first. She said, she was always tired at work. Next was my sister. I am not sure why she stopped. She may not have been that into it. I remember the loser would always scream, “One more game, one — more — game, no, no, one more.” Until my mom decided to set rules.
We were only able to play on the weekends after completing school work and chores. We didn’t like it, but it worked. Before we knew it, our desire to be “the champions” wore off. Soon the Nintendo was collecting dust, and our lives were back to normal. I stayed clear away from video games after that. Although it was a great bonding tool, it was addictive and time-consuming. Much like social media is today.
So, does that mean I won’t ever get back on social media? Like I told a coworker, who seemed impressed with my ability to take the apps off my phone, I don’t know. I mean, I have a blog, and everyone knows with a blog you need to promote your work. Without my social network, how would the world know I exist? Sigh.
What happens to me if I am not up on the latest news? Oh yeah, I can get the newspaper for that. But, what about being the first to know? What about connecting to my readers? The questions can go on and on, and I can have a thousand what if’s. But, my answer still remains the same; I don’t know.
But what I do know, is that I have a lot more freedom to do other things. Simply by not feeding into the idea that I must be and stay connected by all means of social media. And, like when I was a kid playing video games with limits, my life is getting back to normal.
Originally published at ladyiwrites.com on March 15, 2017.