A whole month without Facebook. I did no blogging as well but find essentially its Facebooking that is the major addiction. I don't Instagram and I am not a "Twit". But Facebooking and Blogging had started to constantly consume my mind and fill in my boredom...So I did a whole month without it. Not even a peek over my husbands shoulder.
I did Email..and I did peruse through Pintrest...but I'm not a "pinner" I look...I laugh...and then I stop. I honestly haven't figured out why people have to follow each other on that one?
I read a study about peoples habits in regard to social media and Facebooking and them suffering withdrawal symptoms which lead to a link about the twelve kinds of social media users....turns out I'm an "Ultra". The high user. It was going to be a hard month.
So what did I do instead? I went into hibernation. I took a step back from my norm and looked from the outside in.
There were days when it was refreshing and I could hear myself think again. My mind felt clearer. I wasn't thinking about who had what for breakfast or even needing to think about the sadness/ madness/ gladness that other people were expressing online. I selfishly solely focused on me and my family.
On those days I reflected on my life, and what and who I had become. I wrote new plans, new goals.
Then there were days when I felt completely depressed and missed the social contact...lonely even. I waited for people to text and phone for coffee or even drop in...but there were none. Busy people getting on with busy lives.
I have discovered that I essentially am a people person. I like knowing what people are up to. I like being a friendly person. I like being an encourager. And blogging and Facebook is a tool for me to have an outlet for this. The problem for me is when it becomes my sole way of communicating with people.
It is superficial.
What did we do before Facebook. I'm sure I met with people more in real life. Is it just my season in life...where meeting with people socially, is hindered by having three kids to look after? Or have I genuinely and lazily put all my friendships in the too hard basket?
The plus side of social media is that you can make new friends with common interests that you may not have otherwise gotten to know from other parts of the world or country. The negative side is that I communicate with people in my own home town...my own family...my own friendship circles....like they are in the same category of people who are overseas. I communicate with them using Facebook instead of picking up a phone and having the decency to visit...relate in real life....face to face.
I'd love to know where society is heading once we all start communicating like this. It's one of those things that you can't really avoid...more of everyone and everything is being attached to social media, and in reality you may get left behind in the technology steaks if you don't keep up. But what will our relationships look like in 10 years...or even 20 years?
I realized that it was exhausting having to screen my "online persona". Constantly having to make sure what and how I wrote things were not misconstrued or offensive to any one in particular, hiding my true feelings or opinions. Then there are some people who don't care what they write...the more offensive the better. And reading stuff like that really created negative space in my brain. Reading other people, mainly strangers, rip into product and service pages that they "Liked" voicing their opinion because they can. It's quite disgusting what grown ups say to some people sometimes...really?...would you say that to their face?
Honestly sometimes I worry about the human race.
The good things about Facebook are on your birthday...you can get a hundred birthday greetings. And it can be great (but impersonal way) to set up events such as BBQs and get togethers on a large scale.
The negative aspects are the endless game suggestions and suggested pages and ads. And a biggie is the privacy matter. I heard recently of a persons entire Facebook identity being copied and remade by another person...adding her friends and becoming her. Scary. People can essentially just copy your photos and make them their own. Weird.
So the lessons I will take away from my month offline are essentially these.
- Set time limits to curb the time wasting. I have also decided not to have facebook on my phone until I know I can be in control of my addiction to it.
- Turn up all the privacy settings to the highest they can go.
- Use it as a tool to facilitate real life relationship....not replace them
- Don't "like" random pages...it just clogs up the news feed with their crap.
- Fill my day with other things to curb my boredom and get stuff that needs getting done..DONE.
- Get out of the house and meet up with people in real life
So here I am....hoping for a new a way of living... a new normal....a new improved me. Hopefully. I'll give it a month...
Coffee anyone...In real life ??
How do you manage your online self? are you addicted or can you take it or leave it. Let me know how!?