And really, I'm not actually giving anything up. What I'm attempting to do is avoid social media unless I want to be using it or if I'm intentionally doing something that requires me to be on social media.
(I intend no judgment on anyone. Your time is yours to do with as you please, and mine is mine.)
Over the past few years, my social media usage has gotten a little out of hand. If I'm on the computer and have nothing to do, I find myself clicking over to Facebook. (A year or two ago, I even deleted the bookmark so I'd have to actively think about typing in the URL, but it only took about a week until my fingers stopped being aware of what they were doing.) I'd find myself browsing on Goodreads instead of, you know, actually reading. I'd mindlessly click the Instagram app on my phone, or scroll through my Twitter feed even though I didn't really want to be doing it.
And I realized that I was wasting an awful lot of time doing things I wasn't enjoying. What am I really getting out of all those hours of perusing?
via Death to Stock Photo
I knew it was kind of unrealistic to quit social media cold turkey, because like it or not, it actually is pretty useful for a lot of things. Instead, I wanted to be mindful about why I'm using it and how often, instead of just clicking out of habit, or because I have nothing better to do.
It's been about a week since I've started thinking about this, and I've already discovered a few things. First of all, it is incredibly difficult to avoid Facebook and Goodreads (my favorites of the socials) if you're not thinking about it. It is so deeply ingrained in me to want to constantly check those sites that I've caught myself several times clicking over before realizing what I've done. But without so much social media, I've been spending significantly less time on the computer and on my phone every day, and I like the idea of where this is heading. I always felt like I spent too much time each day looking at screens.
But because I knew there was no quitting altogether, I've also been thinking about what I do on social media. I've caught myself wanting to take pictures just to have something to post on Instagram, instead of to remember a moment. I've caught myself wanting to update Goodreads with the number of pages that I've finished of that book I'm reading, even though that information really doesn't benefit me since I have a bookmark in my actual book. I've caught myself thinking something that seemed funny to me, and feeling like I needed immediate acknowledgment for said funny thought via Twitter approval.
For me, it all boiled down to … how much do I care what other people think of me? Why should I care about what other people think of me?
I want to use social media for what it actually is: a tool for connecting with people. I don't want to be a slave to it. I don't want to feel obligated to do things because of it. I for sure don't want to waste all my time doing something that bores me when I could be doing awesome things instead.
So that's where I'm at right now. But I'd love to know what you think. Are you happy with the amount of time you spend on social media? Do you find some platforms more useful or enjoyable than others?