In mid-November, I decided to just stop it with fb. Stop scrolling, stop giving it part of my day, stop falling into the trap of the bickering and turn a totally blind eye to the fact that they are blinding eyes intentionally. Side note: if you think that people who complain about censorship are ridiculous babies, you may want to stop reading. Because free speech is under attack and if you don’t see that, you’re walking with some of the most blinded eyes.
I had planned to give up fb, but ended up ditching all social media except LinkedIn. I’ve found several great people to follow there that keep it professional. I stayed on the platform, but still reigned in the amount of time used. There’s enough positivity being shared that I can filter through the ugliness and find professional benefit.
I appreciate it there. It seems to me that everyone will listen to your 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, such as deciding which man (you don’t even personally know) is a force of pure evil and which is the purest of driven snows.
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 bit. It’s ironic that 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 someone alerted me to a nasty-gram comment that had been made. The post was taken as a personal affront, which it was never meant to be. 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 in the ring, drawn their 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 ya’ll. 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’s going on with all my ‘friends’ that I don’t know about? 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 to take a few pictures and share the beauty with the world. It was fantastic to be outside, calmed by fire but find myself wanting to share it. 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 that big things were happening in the world and I was living in oblivion. Spoiler alert, I quickly grew to appreciate that fact. I became happy to be missing out on big things in the world.
Within a week, I appreciated the time I got back from not scrolling. I read a little more, a 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 the 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! It was just posts from recent events from people I know. 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.
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 gave me more of that, I mean more propaganda. If you don’t think there’s a massive propaganda push, well . . . I’m happy you can still ignore it. That’s all I have to say about 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. Occasionally only!
All the social media apps give you more of what you interact with. It’s a double edge sword, if you only like all the content you agree with … you never see another point of view. Division multiplies, minds become made up even stronger, hate perpetuates.
Scrolling less has become much safer for my sanity!
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!
What I did find I was missing. . . was my bad attitude. I soon found myself being generally more upbeat.
I’m back on fb, in very limited amounts. My usage daily went from nearly two hours to less than twenty minutes! I will likely post a few things here and there 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 with positivity 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 to, well… I just keep on scrolling.
I’d recommend a fast of social media 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!