Not too long ago I wrote about my need to disengage a bit from social media*. I’m sad to report that simply naming the problem did not particularly help. Which means it’s time for something more. Once again today (and plenty of other days in between) I found myself scrolling through Facebook and checking out of a real conversation. I do this way too often; waste time that I could be spending on people and activities that I love. Those things that bring me joy, that make me whole. The same things I immediately regret neglecting when I look at the clock and see that 15 minutes, half an hour . . . an *gasp* hour has passed while I’ve been skimming though re-posts of some e-cards, pictures of people I barely know and countless rounds of who’s voting for whom and why the other side is wrong.
So I’m stepping back. For real this time. I just removed the Facebook app from my phone. It would be dishonest not to share the fact that there was a tiny sinking feeling in my stomach when I did it. (Which is obviously exactly why I needed to do it.) It’s not going to be a wholesale boycott. I’ll still post this blog there, since people have shared with me that they like to keep up with what’s going on here that way. I’ll still check in for work-related purposes. I’ll also still occasionally check in on far-away friends; the ability to bridge the miles is surely Facebook at it’s best. What I won’t do is check in each time I have a free second, minute or hour. There will be parameters. Parameters that favor conversation and life in real-time. A glance through my list of friends tonight, reminded me that I live in the same city as the overwhelming majority of them. I’m lucky to be surrounded by friends, family, love and the in-person opportunities that some long for. It’s time I acted like it.
When started thinking about really (for real) making a change in this area of my life, I thought: I’ll try it for a month. You know, see how it goes. But as I reflect on it now, I realize that’s sort of like saying: I plan to be more present in my real life for a month . . . and then you know, whatever. So I’m not going to set a time frame. Instead I’m just going to step back indefinitely. And if I feel my life is lacking, then I’ll step right back in.
Somehow, even with a bit of that sinking feeling lingering . . . I doubt that will happen.
*To be clear, by social media – I mean Facebook. Twitter is far more easy for me to step away from and I love everything about blogging.