social media blackout
In October, I took a break from social media.
Well, really I just left FB & Twitter, and tried my best to stay off instagram as much as possible.
Why? Well, my phone had become glued to my hand at times when it shouldn’t be, and it was scrolling and my eyes were scanning. I wasn’t capturing memories of my days by camera, but rather only the snippets that I had edited in my mind to be share worthy. My contribution to conversations were starting to consist entirely of online phenomena. Negative things I saw/experienced in social media impacted my day negatively. And, most importantly, my family took notice of all of this. (Yup. Insert BIG GULP here)
So I said goodbye on October 1st, and came back today.
And here I am, on the other side, to tell you that it’s not that lonely or scary without it. In fact, it’s pretty good. The news of the day comes from sources of authority such as your family, IRL friends, and good ‘ol “news” sites/channels. There’s a lot less of it, and you just have to hear it once instead of seeing it pop up multiple times over the day. Your far-away friends still exist via phone and email, but you have to reach out a bit more, and that’s a good thing sometimes. And there’s a lot less ickiness that I’ve had to wade through in my mind, my heart, and on a screen. (I had good political timing on this)
Was it a good thing to do? Oh yes it was. Did I miss people and sharing? Yes, but now I know I can still do that, but don’t need to know all about everything all the time. Right? Seems so logical, but once you’ve been swallowed by the hole, it’s hard to see.
From here on out, I’ve decided I’m not giving anything up, but just the time I devoted to it. I’ve cleaned up my media in ways to limit my exposure to negativity on both sites, and deleted the FB & Twitter apps from my phone/iPad permanently to avoid the crutch from here on out. I still check in and chat, just less often and with less concern. And considering that I’ve lost my phone more times than I can figure this month, because I just put it away and never go looking for it unless I’m leaving the house, I think I’m on track to keeping my hands off of it.
And I’m happy to say that I’ve found a happy place for my blog to go from here on out. A good balance and little manifesto to go with it on the site.
I’d especially encourage my mommy friends to take a break in the upcoming holiday seasons from social media, as it is a good thing for everyone in the house. In fact, in December, I’ll be organizing a little “hands free” campaign that I hope you’ll consider signing up for… a way to unite behind putting your devices down and sharing life with those in front of you.
So, it’s good to be back, but I’m glad I had the chance to be gone as well!
Kim, I was just thinking this exact same thing! I kind of hate my phone and I only check it to avoid doing things I really need to be doing (like grading papers). I try very hard to stay off it around D and am mostly successful, but I feel chained to it by my own obsession. I look even when I don’t really want to or my eyes are tired of scanning. I don’t think I have the guts to delete FB from my phone, but I’m working on keeping it out of my hands for a larger portion of the day. I’m hoping my husband will agree to do the same when we are together in the evenings.
Hi Kim! I am not typically a blog commenter, but I just wanted to say thank you! I am the only person I know who isn’t on FB. Everyone is always telling me , “oh, I’m not on that much”, but it sure seems like they know a whole lot about everyone else. ;-) I see so many parents ignoring their kids when they pick them up from my class because they are on their phone…and they wonder why they have no idea why their kids don’t want to talk to them anymore! It takes a lot to take a stand, and *be* your own solution. :-) This is why I love reading your blog and I love that I don’t miss a million posts if I stay away from the Internet for a bit. Thank you for being real, not the “oh, I’m real and you should be real just like me” blog!
Have a great week!
My hubby and I have toyed with this idea too. He actually “quit” FB but when turning on Spotify to listen to his music the darn thing signed him back onto FB again! Doh!