Screen Time - How I Handle It (Or Not)

Yesterday I quit Facebook.

I decided at least for the month of December, me and ol' Facebook need a break.

Back in October when I tried to do the "How I Handle It" series on my blog, one of the prompts was "how do you manage screen time".  I admit I was a little prideful at first - I don't have a screen time problem!  What's there to manage?

But maybe that question just needed a little time to sink in, because I started noticing more and more how much time I was actually spending on my phone.  And while there are a few different things that draw me in, Facebook was the number one culprit.  I feel a little embarrassed admitting that, because I always felt I had struck a good balance with Facebook - until the last couple weeks, when I had an epiphany.  

I was using Facebook as an escape whenever my life started to feel a little boring or hard.

Yes, I have become one of those people.  And it's not healthy.

And what's so great about Facebook anyway ?  Even at it's best, I've always recognized that it's also a bit of a waste of time.  I've quit it before.  I can share photos with grandmas though texting instead, and do casual blogs really need a Facebook page?  I'm saying no.  So I signed out of Facebook on all my devices, and cut the cord for (at least) a month.

While I've felt the urge to check Facebook a couple times since then, I weirdly almost immediately felt some of my creativity coming back.  I've always had words just bundled up and bursting to come out, and I was happy to learn that eliminating Facebook has made me want to spend a little more time pouring them out here on the blog, instead in Facebook comments that are forgotten almost as soon as someone clicks on the notification. 

People can say what they want, but I will always think of blogging as one of the good things that can come from the internet, at least for me.  It doesn't have the same instant gratification as Facebook, it's not addictive in that way.  You have to sit still and focus to read (or write) a blog.  You have to think through what you want to say.  It's a producing online activity, instead of just a consuming one.  It's less about that shot of social media dopamine, and more about sharing life and documenting things you don't want to forget.

Yeah, I think quitting Facebook will be a good thing.

So how do I manage screen time?  I'm not very good at it for myself, honestly.  But quitting Facebook is the first step.

Are you on Facebook?  If you've ever quit Facebook, how'd it go?

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Michelle said...

You know what's funny? Facebook isn't my problem. Instagram is. I had mine deactivated for three years, but I logged back in after Gracie was born so my west coast relatives could see photos since they refuse to communicate any other way with me. Sigh. Anyway, I purged most of my friends list and hid lots of people I didn't want to unfriend, and now it doesn't bother me at all. Instagram, however, is a big issue for me and something I've nearly deleted altogether many times.

Amanda said...

Ha! I was just going to say ^^^ Instagram is more my problem. I have been taking a week-long break at the start of every month for the last few year, and it's been a nice way to reset. Sometimes my break ends up being much longer! I think we are all a bit prideful about our social habits. I like to think I don't have a problem when really I do.

Maria Rineer said...

Great post! Thanks for your honesty. I've never been on FB and have never regretted it. Several years ago, when my teens started using it, I got on IG. I was on it for a few years and realized the exact same thing you realized about your usage with FB. It had become a huge time waste for me and was my "go to" activity on my phone if I had a spare minute (which often times turned into MANY minutes). I debated deleting it for a long time and finally did about six weeks ago. I miss it some but I know that I'm better off without it.

Rachel said...

I know FB is one site that can be tricky for for alot of people to navigate with joy and balance. For me...I still genuinely enjoy Facebook. Being so far from so very many people that I gives me a way to see my cousins growing up and helps keep my far-flung family connected across the continents. Most of my family's communication across the world takes place on Facebook messenger these days, haha! I don't use Skype anymore, the video doesn't work as well.

Elizabeth said...

I do think with screentime it can be all or nothing. Either I leave my laptop/phone in another room, or I turn it on and get sucked in for 2-3 hours. So there are some days where I completely ignore FB and other days where I check obsessively. But it's hard to set a middle ground. It's different for me because I live overseas, so FB helps me feel more connected, although lots of moms might feel that way, too. When I was in the hospital recently I got a data plan for my phone for the first time (instead of just Wi-Fi) and it was a huge blessing to be able to update everyone and get encouraging notes in the midst of what I was going through.

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