I have been reading a lot about simplicity, minimalism and essentialism lately, and am attracted to the idea of eliminating the distractions in order to live a more focused life. Part of this process has led me to reflect on my use of social media, which is partly motivated by the desire to manage my time better (a constant goal), and also for reasons of improved mental health, due to articles such as this.
I made the momentous decision to take the plunge and remove facebook from my life completely.
Of the many reasons I made this decision, one in particular stood out, which was removing the temptation to compare myself to others. No more envy, jealousy, insecurity, low self-esteem, coveting, hankering or bitterness. For two whole days (pathetic, I know) I had no facebook to keep track of. My world started shrinking and becoming quieter. I developed what I would like to call ‘phantom facebook syndrome’, which resulted in me physically clicking on the bookmark folder to check facebook, only to remember that both the icon and the account were no longer there. This was a great experiment, and I learned how weak and addicted I had become. So why did I start another account?
I live away from my family (I have to take a plane to see them), and I have nieces and nephews and grandparents that it pained me to think I would miss out on seeing. So, I created my new account with some specific rules:
1. adding ONLY family, true friends, and people that I need to keep in contact with.
2. only ‘like’/follow pages that are useful, helpful or support people I really care about.
3. check my account less, and schedule my day to deliberately fill the gaps that could be wasted on facebook. Still working on the specifics of this one.
4. install facebook purity which eliminates all the annoying adds and suggested likes. I really hate that shit!
I will write about some thoughts around jealousy and envy in a future post. For now my focus is on replacing facebook time with real life. I fully recommend it!