It will just take five minutes I tell myself, knowing full well that it couldn’t be further from the truth. I attempt to convince myself that I will have more self-control this time. But alas, here I am 45 minutes later, having no idea how it happened. What was meant to be a quick check of my Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat accounts, has manifested itself into an information overload of who’s wearing what, who’s celebrating what and wondering why on earth everybody is sharing memes with ‘Cash Me Outside’ blazed across them. Welcome to Social Media.
I think my usage of social media is not excessive (but I guess it depends on who I compare myself to….). Most of it is used for this website and my workplace to promote and inform, or in my role as a netball coach to keep everyone in the loop. I will admit that every now and again I’ll get on my high horse and preach about an issue close to my heart, or get narcissistic and share/brag about some trip or achievement I’ve recently had. But on the whole I don’t put EVERY, SINGLE moment of my life online.
However, posting online isn’t really my additction. It’s the CHECKING of social media. The ol’ FOMO. It became apparent to me just how much I would spend looking at people’s stories on Snapchat and scrolling through my Facebook and Instagram feeds, when I was on holidays over the Christmas break. Most of my ‘downtime’ was spent on these three apps, most often not having my day being overly enriched with what I had seen. I got a few chuckles from a few stories and posts, admired some of the photos I saw, pondered over people’s rants about current issues. Yes, it filled in some time. But here I was, with my parents in the same room as me and I had my head stuck in my phone. I had become one of ‘those’ kids.
It wasn’t until recently when I spent five days without phone reception, that I came to realise I was blissfully unaware of what was happening in the world, and that in fact, my life was no worse off. So it made me wonder if my social media habits would change when I returned back to ‘the grid’. Admittedly, I have reduced the amount of time I’m using these apps, however I’m still spending more time on them than I would like (especially when I have other things I need to be doing…). Yet, I’m not prepared to remove social media from my life entirely. So I have set myself a challenge, starting today (Wednesday 8th Feb 2017). I’m going to cease my use of the three social apps I use most, for seven days. Not because I want to rid them from my life forever, but to find out what I actually used to do in those spare ‘five minutes’. And to see if I actually miss out on anything.
So here are the rules I’m going to follow (and feel free to get on board too if you’re game!!):
-No Snapchat, Facebook or Instagram access for a week
-To communicate with others- the only way will be through email, iMessage or Messenger, or heaven forbid, call them!
-I can use Pages to post the link to this story and respond to any comments, but not to check any stats. I can also use Facebook to share this story and put a link on our 3585livestayplay Instagram account. But that’s it!
Knowing what I’m like when I’m ‘giving-up’ something, I will have to go cold-turkey. So I’ll be logging out of these accounts and putting them in a folder in a far off corner of my iPhone. I can’t bring myself to delete them entirely off my phone… just in case….
I’ll let you know how I go this time next week. Just please don’t do anything too exciting that I’ll miss out on.