About four years ago, my wife was already heavy into the social media. Instragram stalking. Facebook. She was constantly on her phone and I was pretty annoyed about the whole situation. Little did I know how it would take over so much of all our time…
Some time later…
So I was, and really am, not a big social network fan. Despite this blog, I feel it is a time and energy sink to constantly be checking Twitter or Instagram. I may have signed up for an account or two, and realize if you’re building a brand and building a business there are advantages, but I have to draw the line somewhere. I’ve had a smart phone for maybe five years, and sometime not too long after seeing the zombie-like behavior of my wife, I too fell into the trap. Unlike most, I wanted full control over who I let into my world, or who could even find me. Using a fake name, I ventured into the Facebook world. Slowly at first, then picking up steam.
I connected with a few folks I was friends with in real life. I’d see what was going on, maybe posting once every few weeks, and rarely changed my profile photo of a dude/meme with a huge beard. Then it started to consume more and more of my time. Soon I was on every day, saying funny things and observations, semi-trolling friends posts. Being clever.
It got to be so that any drop in activity I’d be on my phone. Sure, I’d be looking at interesting sites or forums I liked, but it was an addiction. Most are probably like this today, bowing out of the real world to chase down that next hilarious meme, or read up on whatever the soup de jour was of your interests or wants or desires. That is today’s world, and it has gravity that seems to pull most in. I didn’t accept very many friend requests, and those that talked too much about politics or bullshit I got rid of, but that still didn’t stem the tide of time suck.
My New Years’ resolution this year was to say ‘Fuck it’ to Facebook. I blew it up at the start of the year and it feels great. I’m reading more again (averaging over a book a week) and don’t feel that constant pressure to stay engaged with people I don’t really care that much about and seeing their filter of bullshit that they choose the world to see. It is actually very freeing and I encourage you to take back your time and life, and start living with those you’re spending time with instead of seeing how many LIKES your latest clever update garners. Good luck – go cold turkey and don’t look back my friends.
There are now over 1.8 Billion users on FB (what in the actual fuck?!). They influence what is cool, who to vote for, the message that those with money want us to see. Think about what the endgame is. It isn’t cute cat videos, or what your friend had for lunch, or how “awesome” they project their lives to be. The more you stop living in the virtual world and feeling pressure to keep up with the Joneses, the happier you’ll be. Make a fort with your kids. Start a side hustle. Read a fucking book. You’ll find yourself in a much better mental state than clicking refresh on the latest update or Liking yet another post about someone’s kid.