On Friday, January 4, 2019, I, Nate Rose, of clear and sound mind, decided to do the one thing I thought I never would: Log off.
That day, I deactivated my social media accounts.
Immediately, my life improved. Why? Because I, dear reader, am a social media addict.
I suspect I am not alone! I suspect many of our readers are, in fact, social media addicts as well.
How can I say this so confidently? Well, because social media is designed to make you an addict.
The engineers at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or whatever platform you may prefer are absolutely up to date on the latest psychological breakthroughs in what causes addiction – and they are manufacturing their platforms specifically to create it. They’re dopamine dealers, in essence, and they’re very good at their job.
This New Years Eve, I went to a party with friends – as one does – and my phone was nearly dead when I got there. I plugged it in to charge and basically forgot about it for the night. And I thought “This is nice.”
it occurred to me how much social media has been robbing me of experiences like that in favor of a curated online life.
Everyone who spends too much time on social media has their reasons.
I’ve got friends who moved away, and this is how we keep in touch!
I’ve got online friends!
It’s good to stay connected and informed!
Yet I’ve found that just giving people my phone number has worked out just as well, and with far less superfluous stress from people I don’t actually like very much.
The thing I’ve noticed most since deactivating is just how often I was absentmindedly checking my social media.
Waiting in line? Let’s see what’s happening.
Need to kill time? Nothing else is grabbing my attention, but Facebook will.
Going to the bathroom? Might as well check my apps – ooo, look, a notification!
I’ve been told by social media friends that I am a thoughtful person. But truthfully, all I’ve ever done is use social as an avenue to post my intrusive thoughts. Being a person with ADHD, I have a lot of those. That adds up to a lot of content every day. Sometimes it’s in the form of a one-liner or a meme, sometimes it’s a whole essay. But it’s not healthy for me.
I’m gaining that time back. I’m finding time to do things I’ve wanted to do more of. It’s only been a few days, so I don’t want to make any grand pronouncements, but I think life is better now. I’m spending more time with my kids, I’m reading more, I’m letting my thoughts sit for longer before I have to tell the world about them. I’m even finishing my Do-Goodery posts before the deadline! (Sorry Rocco.) It’s only been a few days, so I don’t want any grand pronouncements, but let me tell you, dear Reader, I feel much better.
I have left the world of hot takes, and entered the world of reflective thought. And it feels great.
Until next time…keep thinking! (I think I’ve finally got some time to!)