(This is part two of a two post series. Read the first iteration here.)
Back in November (it feels so weird to say “of last year,” doesn’t it?) I made a choice to abstain from Facebook for a month, and to generally cut down on my overall social media consumption. I’m back now a few months later to give an update on the experience and a general takeaway from my little experiment.
Let’s jump right in:
First off, I loved it.
I loved it so much, in fact, that I haven’t bothered to download the facebook app back onto my phone. It felt so refreshing to not be scrolling facebook’s endless newsfeed that now, two months after I gave myself permission to go back, I have no desire to whatsoever. I still only check facebook an average of once every day or two to look for notifications, and every now and then I’ll log on to read some of the posts from a group or two. For the most part, though, I’m not facebooking much these days other than to post on my farm page.
Scrolling is a habit, pure and simple.
I think most of us know this in the back of our minds, but it’s important to fully realize just how much of a habit it really is. The first few days after I removed the app from my phone, I would still instinctively go to open it up whenever I was using my phone. Like any habit, it took a while to break, but now that it’s broken I do not miss it. There are so many things we do that we think we like, but deep down we are only repeating actions that have become habitual. The great news is that old habits can be broken and new (better) ones can be built.
Useless clutter weighs down the mind.
Clutter comes in many forms. This is probably the biggest lesson I learned from the experiment. We tend to think of clutter as useless knickknacks and junk we carry around in our homes, but the truth is that clutter can also be found in less tangible places. Anything that is not serving us is inevitably weighing us down. That includes spending too much time on social media. (And is also why I’m cleaning out the physical clutter this year, too. My mantra for 2017: simplify, simplify, simplify. Thanks for the inspiration, Thoreau.)
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying social media is evil. I would be the biggest hypocrite in the world to claim that! But, like anything, too much is not good. We need to respect ourselves enough to use the tools we’ve been given responsibly and to our benefit rather than to excess.
Here’s to a more minimalist 2017, y’all.