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In mid-November, I decided to just stop it with fb. Stop scrolling, stop giving it part of my day, stop falling into the bickering trap and turn a totally blind eye to the fact that social media is actually blinding us all. Side note: if you think that people who complain about censorship are ridiculous babies, you may want to stop reading. Free speech is under attack and if you don’t see that, you’re walking with blinders on.
I had planned to give up fb, but ended up ditching all social media except LinkedIn. I just reigned in the amount of time spent there. There’s enough positivity being shared so I can filter through the ugliness and find professional benefit.
I appreciate it there. It seems everyone will listen to opposing opinion ~ when it’s backed up by fact and links to sources. What a novel concept, huh? Considering both sides of an argument before making up your mind. Rather than letting the news tell you how to feel.
Giving up social media was a suggestion from a friend, but become a personal experiment. I wasn’t planning to touch fb or ig again until December 1st. Another side note, fb and ig are little letters for symbolism. They are not important enough to be capitalized.
Let me back up a little. Ironically, t the night before my fast, I used fb to post link to a blog about how untrue, even rigged, I believe mainstream (and social) media to be. I published this post right before I signed out of the app, along with ig too. I just deleted twitter altogether, that app has been a trainwreck from the get go.
On November 12th, I said farewell for now to the social media giants.
Early on November 13 the fb fast was broken. My blog entry ruffled some feathers and I was alerted to a nasty-gram comment someone made. They’d taken the post as a personal affront because a spouse worked in media. Human nature kicked in and I had to see the comment for myself and by the time I signed in, a third friend had jumped on it, drawn a digital sword and chopped the head off the first person.
You can’t even have a civil opinion share on fb ~ someone always jumps down someone else’s throat. It’s madness. I felt it best to delete and carry on with the fast.
The real day one was HARD y’all. Do you know how automatic it is to just pick up and scroll to kill a few minutes? It’s become an engrained part of our behavior. I craved running my fingers over the screen to see what people were up to. But I didn’t crave the ugly political posts I’d run across.
Those early few days were wrought with FOMO, thinking what I was missing with my ‘friends’. Who’s posting the funniest things? I’m sure there are great pictures of something that I need to be seeing.
On day three, it was a gorgeous evening and I built a fire in the backyard. I found even that to be a trigger. I wanted to share beauty with the world. It was fantastic to be outside, calmed by fire but found myself wanting to blast it out there. Why? No one cares about my fire. It’s just become so commonplace to believe you need to share and soak in all the information in the world.
On the fourth and fifth days, I really can’t be sure if it was coincidence or true anxiety from fomo ~ is that a new condition I need to worry about? But I had all these uneasy feelings about big things happening in the world and I was in oblivion. Spoiler alert, I quickly grew to appreciate that. I became happy to be missing out on the big uglies in the world.
Within a week, I appreciated the time I got back from not scrolling. I read a little more, wrote a few more words and got in touch with more friends or family, through text or phone. Real contact directly with people that actual real life friends you spend time with.
A few days before the fast was supposed to be over, I scrolled. It was right around Thanksgiving and I really wanted to see any pictures my family had posted. I do have some of the cutest nieces and nephews around after all. So, I scrolled.
Despite feeling bad for breaking my own self-imposed freedom from fb, it was nice! Posts from recent events from people I know flooded my feed. I saw family pictures, photos of fun projects people were doing, stunning scenery snapshots and witty memes.
Politics had disappeared. Ugliness was gone. I proved to myself that the algorithms really are rigged ~ they get a little tricked when you haven’t been interacting with the app. It created brief moments where fb was fun again. Precisely how the addiction begins, I suppose.
December 1st came and I scrolled like normal. I read a few “news” articles and by later the same day, my feed was full of junk, politics and nonsense. Again. I’d seen first hand that clicking on any articles, gave me more of that. By ‘that’, I mean more propaganda. If you don’t think there’s a massive propaganda push, (from both sides) well . . . I’m happy you can still ignore it and will leave it at that.
I backed away again and really didn’t interact again until December 10th. There are necessary business uses for the app, so I opened back up to scrolling occasionally.
All the social media apps give you more of what you interact with. It’s a double edge sword, if you only like content you agree with, you never see another point of view.
Division multiplies, minds become made up even stronger, hate perpetuates.
All that mess, I did not miss. What I did find I was missing. . . my bad attitude. I found myself being generally more upbeat.
It’s like that trashy TV series that may be several seasons long, but it’s really and truly the same predictable plots and protagonists in episode 11 that were in episode 1. You didn’t really miss much content by missing a few episodes!
I’m back on fb, in very limited amounts. My daily usage went from two hours to less than twenty minutes! I will still post things that make me happy, hoping they’ll make someone else smile. I’ve unfollowed those that spew ugliness and hate and will block you in a hot second for political slander.
I like the awesome pet rescue stories, click haha on great memes and love photos of the family and true friends. Those are the things I want to interact with. Give me more of that. To all the things that I want to click wow on, well . . . I learned to just keep on scrolling.
I’d recommend a social media fast to everyone. Getting constant information is bad for your heart? The figurative heart… your soul, your center, your peace.
Take your sanity back by laying your phone down, every chance you get! Scrolling less has become much safer for my sanity!