I am taking a full year off social media. I know sounds crazy, hear me out.
I have seen many ads lately for that app that says, “I dare you to disappear for a year and work on you.” It is a habit tracker geared to making you focus on self-improvement. One of the things it talks about is breaking social media addiction…with an expensive app…that is on your phone…that you scroll…? How is that supposed to work?
There are many positive reasons to avoid social media. My biggest reason is the lure of more time for other endeavors, like, oh, I don’t know, finishing my current novel that is more than past the deadline to be completed. Disappearing sounds so romantic and grand. I would love to do that. Here’s the thing, I have a husband I adore, a family with children and grandchildren and a job with responsibilities. I do not ever want to disappear.
What would be nice is to disappear from all the crap. I am tired of feeling like every other post attempts to sell me on a product, change my moral compass, or impose an unrealistic idea. I have to wade through all that stuff to get to the good things my friends and family are sharing with me.
When you stop or use social media less, you have more free time, stop buying things you don’t need, stop dehumanizing humans, avoid groupthink, are more present in the moment, realize who your real friends are, stop supporting monopolies, make the transition from consumer to creator, avoid being a victim of a scam, and you focus more on what is essential. There are more reasons, but these I mentioned here are my favorite.
As a result you become a happier person and improve your mental health. Several studies corroborate the adverse effects of social media. In 2022 a survey conducted across the U.S., U.K., Australia, and Norway found that those who used social media for entertainment or to decrease loneliness during the pandemic experienced poorer mental health.
Here are my parameters for a social media hiatus.
I will delete Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Tumblr from my phone. I won’t close my accounts. I will let them live unsupervised in the wild.
I will not engage with social media for 365 days, from Monday, March 27, 2023, through 26 Mar 2024. This means no scrolling. No posting on any platform.
I will keep writing, so I set my blogs to automatically post on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr so that you who are using social media can follow my adventure as you so choose. Also, that will keep my distant family and friends connected. I don’t want to lose any cherished connections.
I will reach out to family and friends through other means to communicate. Fun fact, you can actually hear another person’s voice on calls, and there is a thing called FaceTime where you can see them smile at you all on that device in your hand all in real time.
I will collect the hard data from iPhone’s ScreenTime tracking feature. I am a statistics junky, so this should be fun to see if I do actually clock less screen time.
I will keep track of the books I read on an old-fashioned paper reading log.
When I told my husband my plan, he laughed at me. He said, with much love, because he “knows” me, ” I give you a month.” I’m not delusional. I know that it will be challenging. My brain will need to rewire itself and retrain its method of getting information. My reference librarian soul will thrive at the challenge. I replied to him, “Challenge accepted.”
So today I will enjoy the day, post, and share. This evening I will delete apps and begin my adventure.
Love and Light, Lori
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