As a professional social media manager and someone who lives on a totally different continent than their immediate family, my life revolves around social media more than I care for it to. I realized, however, that having it on my phone was something I needed a break from.
Just this week, Facebook had a rather dubious and record-setting outage that impacted not only their main platform, but also Whatsapp, Oculus and Instagram. While it was a bit annoying with the timing (I was trying to send my mom a video of the baby standing independently for what is still the longest stretch she’s managed), I had to admit I was a bit relieved. Enough so that I took a look at my workload and decided to delete the Facebook app from my phone.
I use the Pages Manager for Facebook pages and I can post via Instagram, which I’m far less inclined to actually scroll through. There wasn’t an actual need for the app itself.
It has really changed my perspective on time. I was bleeding so much time trying to keep up with notifications that weren’t related to my business or my client workload. When the app was removed, it left me with only a tiny fraction of the number of notifications that I receive, and anything that wasn’t related to my career could wait.
We haven’t really fully explored the implications of long-term social media use, but I can tell you one positive that has already come from this decision: without the app, there was less noise and more time to focus on more important things. Anxiety was less prominent. It was far less stressful to disconnect the problem child.
With the ability to schedule posts each day, there was really no reason to have the app itself installed. If people needed to reach me, they had any number of ways to do so. I allow myself about a half hour in the evening to check in on my PC and do some professional networking (which I plan ahead in a notebook for efficiency) , and that’s it.
Being active on social media didn’t mean I had an active social life. It didn’t mean I was living better or being a better person. It caused me to waste a lot of time with my phone in my hand.
Accessibility can be good sometimes, but I don’t need to have a device in my hands to feel connected to the world. I needed to enjoy more of what’s in front of me. I get more joy from picking up a book I didn’t have time to read before, or watching the baby play. I feel less obligated to share parts of my life for people that probably wouldn’t make an effort to be involved if I didn’t. It’s a refreshing experience.
Maybe Facebook won’t really have a place on my phone again, because it didn’t do much to enhance my life. It was never supposed to be such a present tool. It’s just unhealthy.
I’m going to enjoy my Friday, and I hope you do too!