For the last few weeks I’ve had a forced fast from Facebook.
This wasn’t actually of my own doing, I was forced into it.
I recently visited a certain country in this fine universe and explored its countryside. However, in doing so I had no opportunity to look at Facebook or other social media because it was blocked. It wasn’t just on my phone or my laptop, it was blocked on every single device you could possibly think of.
And you know what? I loved it!
In some ways I was looking forward to not having Facebook accessible because that would give me a good test. It would test my addiction to the screen and to social media. It would test my need to know what others are doing all the time. It would test my ego by not broadcasting silly messages to people I know and hardly know. But, instead of a test I found it quite simple. I found it a positive experience and one that could help me in the future.
Now that I’m back and able to connect on social media I find myself less reticent to do so. Here are a few things I’ve noticed:
1. I’m spending more quality time with the people I love – My family doesn’t have me looking at my phone when I’m with them, they’ve got my whole attention.
2. I wanted the apps deleted from my phone – I actually deleted the apps of Facebook and Twitter from my phone on the place back home. I know that it’s easy to get them back but at this stage I haven’t needed to. I’ve actually taken the step to get rid of those apps and find myself feeling lighter and freer without them.
3. Social media has been put in perspective – When you’re in the zone of constantly looking at social media apps it becomes an all encompassing pastime. There is always a new photo or a comment or a tweet. They just keep coming. Once out of the zone you begin to realise that you’re not missing much, if anything of substance at all. You being to realise what a waste of time the whole enterprise can be.
4. I have more control on what I want to see – Without others bugging me for their attention I’m now able to control who I see and what I see at a more appropriate time and place. When in the zone you’re out of control, you think you’re in control but not really. Now I find myself being able to quickly look through what I’ve missed in the last day or two and catch up on anything important, of which there may have been one thing in the last 10 days, and then go back to whatever it is I was doing or wanted to do.
5. I’ve more energy – I find that I’ve now got more energy within myself to deal with other things in life than dealing with this made-up stress that is social media. I even attacked the garden last weekend!
I’m sure there’s plenty more benefits if I took more time to think about it. But, needless to say, I’d highly recommend curbing your social media diet in 2014. What can you put in place now to help you with that?