As of last week, I practically lived for my incessant checking of the Facebook app. Every notification and each ping made my heart race. When I was bored, I would simply scroll and lazily click the Like on each post. I don’t think I really saw content! But I did feel a vague sense of “togetherness” with humanity, even though I was very alone. To its credit, that’s what social media can be good for.[tweet_box design=”default” float=”none”]When you feel alone, the hum of activity online can feel comforting.[/tweet_box] I know that I certainly felt that way. Sitting on the train, it just feels natural to grab my phone and open Facebook. I tell myself that I’m still on the website because I want to keep up with my friends. To some extent, that’s still true. Naturally, I care a lot about my friends. But sometimes, the app felt more stifling than connecting.
Those little red numbers that added up to show notifications create this kind of social pressure. I don’t think Facebook is inherently harmful, and as a matter of fact, I think the opposite. The code that created Facebook is incredible. It is the product of intensely skilled brainwork with the intent of bringing people together. What is more amazing than that?
What is the problem with it, you ask? The underlying addictive capacity that it stokes in humanity. Or at the risk of alienating my readership, my own addictive personality.
I can’t just “have” the app and not check it. I truly don’t think I can have Facebook on my phone and only check it once a day. So last Monday, I made the leap and deleted the app. I still have an account that I check after work, but it no longer consumes my life.
And it’s utterly incredible.
Before, I never realized how obsessed I was with seeing the latest articles — and how much time I wasted on that. The minutes and hours I dedicated to upkeep of my social reputation is astounding. In fact, I now feel like I almost have too much time (if that’s even possible). I feel a sort of freedom. I don’t feel constrained to immediately respond to posts and messages. If need be, I can take all the time I need.
Deleting the Facebook app feels like the best thing that I could have done for myself. Summer is the season of the year that everyone most associates with detox, and I couldn’t agree more. By releasing myself from the societal expectations of Facebook, I feel more able to portray myself less as a perfect millennial, and more as the inherently flawed more-truthful version of myself. Speaking from a week’s experience in the bag – it’s the most content I’ve been about my relationship with social media in a long time.
Yogis, has social media taken over your life? Have you tried ways to curb that? Share with us!