The decision to reset social media usage came easy. Lately scrolling had become tiring and “what’s the point of it?” silently grew in my brain.
Follow the movement, DELETE accounts! Nah, I’m not there yet, but a month without Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest sounds like a good reset plan. My social media fasting actually started on May 28th, because the first day of the month is a cliche I don’t like to follow. So it has been a few days in the process.
At first I wrote down all the birthdays from FB for the people to whom I could actually send private messages not just post on a wall.
Then I deleted all the apps from my phone and took away bookmarks from my web browser.
At the end I made sure my close group of friends know I am doing this to make sure they don’t feel like I’m ignoring their messages on one of those platforms.
The struggle is real. My hand twitches when I stand in lines, traffic jams, before I go to sleep and quite frankly every time I’m not doing anything that would require my full attention.
“Let me just check… oh right, never mind.”
It is an addiction and FOMO*. No wonder that experiments show Facebook triggers the same part of the brain as gambling and substance abuse. “Scrolling is the new smoking”**. And let me just tell you – I have smoked and quit in a snap of my fingers, this is a whole different level of withdrawal. The only thing I can compare it to is fasting. When you crave those carbs, sugars and caffeine, but can’t have any… I hope that similar to fasting it will get better in two weeks time.
At the moment.
- My phone is clean from apps and the only notifications I get now are actually meaningful messages from my friends and family;
- The day feels longer;
- I’ve started to pay more attention to the surroundings;
- No more communication jungles! One or two platforms for communication max. Forget about “I sent you Instagram post, did you checked Allo? I think I saw it on Twitter or Facebook. Why you’re ignoring my LinkedIn message? Oh, wait was it messenger? No, sorry check Whatsapp…”
- It’s hard and annoying to realise how dependent I have been from my phone;
- It’s day 4 and FOMO still going strong big time;
- The days feel longer. Yes, looong weekdays are a bit tiring since my energy levels haven’t adjusted the intense attention workflow. No more multitasking in between.
- Being away from home and away from social media feels like an exile;
- My friends need to take screen shots if they want to share something with me;
- My brain feels a bit overflow, I need to find different ways how to clear it before sleep. Turns out scrolling down the screen numbs everything else in there…
- There are some things I wish could share on the spot with people. Like a billboard I saw yesterday or a quote from a Podcast, but I have stop myself again and again.
The goal for the next 30 days is to change the habit of keeping my phone close while being away from the office. To be more present and stop checking phone just because it’s the new normal. I used to be proud or 24/7 technology addiction, but I think it’s time to draw some lines.
Fingers crossed I don’t go bananas for real.. ha
* fear of missing out
** by Hoshua Fields Millburn “The Minimalists” https://www.theminimalists.com/scrolling/