Am I addicted to Facebook? Do I spend too much time mindlessly scrolling through my Facebook feed? The simple answer is “Yes.” The project of dedicating a year to life takes me by surprise again. I never really thought about the impact that social media was having on my life and family as a whole. While considering what kind of lifestyle I wanted I began thinking about how much time I spend on my phone while at home. I have spent a lot of time thinking about what things in my life are making a positive impact and what is not. Social media in its current capacity is making a negative impact on my daily life with Facebook being my biggest offender.
I think that Facebook (and other social media to a lesser extent) has a place in my life but I think it needs to be a much smaller place. We have family and friends that live far away that it helps us stay up to date with. My work mates use it for group messages to get together and to plan days that we all bring stuff in for birthday parties or meals. Friends and family use it for party invites, especially kids birthdays. Those are the positives. Now here come the negatives. It is a time suck. I think to myself “I’ll just do a quick notification check.” That turns into “I’ll just do a quick scroll of my feed to see how everyone is doing.” The next thing I know I have spent a half hour or more doing nothing. Or on some cases it is worse than nothing. The perfectly edited Facebook feeds that hide reality is not good for any of us. The art of the modest Facebook brag, the mostly useless shares, the whining, the “too perfect” couples, the sad news stories, the fake news, the rants, the political opinions practically screaming back and forth, and the endless memes are all just becoming too much for me. It is so easy to get sucked into that world. I find that it is all a little overwhelming. I am curious to see how this choice impacts my family, my life, and my mental health. I am part of the last generation that actually remembers life before social media took over. I long for the days of phone calls from loved ones and being able to get together with friends without anybody staring at their phones. I miss the times that people were actually social.
I did not delete my accounts or even put a hold on them. I just removed all of it from my phone so that it doesn’t live at my fingertips anymore. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Facebook messenger apps have been deleted from my phone. I have decided to take a 30 day social media fast. I started yesterday. March 13th will be 30 days. I’ll let you know how it goes.