Back in March I took some time off social media, but I wasn't able to make a clean break. I still had to use Facebook for some kid-related stuff, and though I removed Messenger from my phone, I still used it on a desktop periodically. I let myself scroll Instagram and look at Snapchat every couple of days. So while I reduced my online presence I was still peripherally there.
The Lead Up:
This time around I have no such requirements. I'm not leading any groups, I don't have any events to manage, and other than boredom or habit or whatever I don't truly have any reason to spend time on Facebook or Instagram or Snapchat. It's not that there's anything wrong with social media...and it can be fun, but it started eating up too much of my brainspace. Especially in an election cycle. Jibbers Crabst the political posts. I don't need to know that much about my friend's politics. Not if I want to stay friends, anyway.
I started by turning off all notifications for social apps (the ones that would let me). It helped, but I still found myself checking and checking and checking again. It was just a habit. Social media is both a blessing and a curse for someone like me. I'm deeply introverted, with a tendency to brood. So posting was interaction...but sort of a hollow one. I definitely have a "social media" personality. It's not the same as my "real life" personality. Real me is dull and bookish. Social media me is always "on" in a way that real life me can't maintain for long. It's not that I was faking anything...more like two sides of a coin. Social media me was my public face...the one I put on when I leave the house, but without needing to wear pants. As a general rule I don't give a shit about how people feel about me or how I live my life, but I'm also a chronic overthinker. I will ruminate on an interaction forever. Years. I wish I was exaggerating. It's exhausting enough when I'm dealing with real life interactions causing that kind of brain weasel...now add 100s of extra online interactions.
The Cut Off:
About 24 hours ago I deactivated my FB account, my IG account, and deleted the Snapchat and Messenger apps from my phone. It felt...weird.
Not the greatest representation, probably. But I worked last night and I usually pop on and off of FB just to alleviate stress or boredom. Not that much happens overnight. Then I went home and slept. I didn't get up until 4pm. I found myself reaching for my phone to flip through IG. Nope. App gone. Oh yeah.
Still had the phone in my hand quite a bit because I was finishing a novel on the Kindle app. I have it on my tablet, but this particular book was a glitchy download on the tablet. I found myself wanting to open FB or IG a few times this evening. Had a few exchanges with the husband that began "Did you see the Snap from..." or "That picture was from..." and I had to say "No, I didn't see the Snap"and "Remember, I won't see the picture". It was odd.
I had a moment where I caught myself thinking in status updates (shudder). I also started to photograph something I ordinarily would've posted to IG and wondered why I was doing that. I've had a couple of moments of "No one will notice or care that I'm gone and I will lose all my friends". But if I'm being honest, I've never been the kind of person who has many friends. Turns out I'm difficult. Who knew?
The irony of blogging about leaving social media isn't lost on me, but no one reads this unless I post it to FB (and I can't because I deactivated it) so it basically doesn't count. I'd write this shit in a journal but I type so much faster than I write.
Tonight is the last night on shift, then 8 off. I don't know if it will be easier or harder to be disconnected during my off week. Somehow I think I'm going to be a lot more productive.