Recently I have been trying to live without social media to see how it impacts my life.
It’s been a vexed decision to pull the pin on FB and Insta. I find enjoyment in both, I find value in both, but the time they consume is equivalent to a part time job and the effect they have on my thinking processes is certainly significant.
It’s been two weeks since deactivating FB and Insta so time for some reflection on the good and the bad…
I really miss the instant sharing of something fun, quirky or inspiring. Now my means of ‘sharing’ is this blog and a post requires me to say more than a sharp sentence. It requires context and development of thought. It’s a whole different medium. I like blogging – and it has moved me back into a ‘writing ‘ headspace rather than a ‘sharing’ space – although ironically I am sure virtually everyone who reads my blog finds it via FB – so the last two weeks of thoughts have probably gone unread…
Often throughout the day I have found myself wanting to post a quick thought or share an idea and the absence of FB makes that much trickier if not impossible. I don’t want to write a blog post just to share a quote.
When I am having a great time and feeling compelled to ‘share’ I ponder ‘am I better off just living in the moment and not telling the world? To what extent am I sharing joy and to what extent am I simply bragging about my ‘very cool life’? It’s been good to ponder this. I don’t have an answer yet.
I do miss the instant interaction with the world – the fact that I can share a thought with friends everywhere and get a response. I have used FB for sorting out my Solar Power installation recommendations. I have used FB to garner sermon fodder from a diverse range of people. And so it goes on. The interaction is often fun and the banter is enjoyable.
I take less photos when I’m not on social media. I think that’s a neutral outcome. I have taken some photos while on holidays but I tended to use FB as a ‘life journal’ – a record of what I have been doing for the last 11 years and now I don’t have those memories stored anywhere in particular.
Of course the quiet moments have been quieter. While the rest of the family is on social media I am doing something else – reading a book – reading my blog feed. I also find when I have 10 minutes to kill I still look to my phone, but the reading material is different.
I have kept all of my business and church accounts active as I am one of the admins on them. I can’t escape that. It’s a different headspace though – posting as needed and for a specific purpose rather than just a spewing forth of life’s trivia.
Perhaps in that is both the value and the inaneness of the social media form. You can know what I am having dinner, how I stubbed my toe, that I had a boring day at work and so on. You can actually know me and have some real insight into my life and thoughts from my online profile – and I think is a pretty accurate depiction of who I am – and I can know you – or at least as much as you let me know.
So two weeks into going cold turkey on social media and I’m still debating the value of pulling the pin on it.
I have found myself reading a little more, I have felt thoughts for blog posts percolating more often and I have probably been more ‘present’ when I am with the family.
I may yet return to the ‘dark side’, but perhaps on different terms. I had deleted 250 ‘friends’ prior to my shutdown but I’m not sure if I want to do a clean sweep of everyone and then start over or whether I just need to consider how I want this medium to work for me.
Anyway – I’m sharing these thoughts conscious that may not get read by anyone, but that’s just how it is when you shift gears!