See You Later, Social Media

  (Photos from our October fishing day.)

It's been growing for a while.  This uneasy relationship that has been developing between me and social media.

It all started with a blog post I read about social media addiction last year.  It opened my eyes to something that had already been eating at me.

I don't like the way I sometimes feel compelled to look at one social media platform or another.

I don't like having the weight of my phone so often in my back pocket.

I don't like how I feel...well, yucky after spending more time than I meant to browsing on Facebook or Instagram.

I don't like that feeling that I've missed out on something more important after my eyes have been glued to my phone.

For a while I wanted to be able to just cut back on my usage, set some phone time limits to help me stay off, develop better habits.  But when I take a break or set a limit for one social media platform, I find a lot of my energy is only diverted to a different one, and there I am, still wasting so much time.  Too much of my days wasted.

I'm taking a break.  A break from all social media platforms except here on my blog.  That is how it all started out anyway, right?  All these social media platforms I initially set up to help this blog are actually stealing from it in many ways now.  I am excited for the weeks ahead, to be able to put all my creative and writing energy into this space, the one that I always come back to.

So yeah.  I'm just taking an Instagram and Facebook break, and deleting 75% of the apps on my phone.  I'm not sure exactly how long I'll be off, but I imagine it will be until January so I can enjoy the Christmas season without the social media burden.  If you see updates on my blog Instagram and Facebook page, it will be automated posts that I'll be setting up through a scheduler.  I may pop on once or twice to say "Happy Thanksgiving" and "Merry Christmas", but otherwise, if you want to keep up with me, I'll be here on the blog.

I have lots of plans for what I'm hoping to accomplish with my extra time over the next one or two months.  Maybe I'll share that in another blog post next week!  But my main goal is to get rid of social media for a while, let the impulse to check it fade, so I can evaluate what, if anything, social media is actually adding to my life.  With a clear head.

I want to really look at my kids this Christmas season.  I want to take pictures of them merely because I think they are adorable, not in order to have something to share on my Instagram feed.  I want to bake, and sing, and paint, and fill photo albums, and figure out if I really can be a crafty mom, or if I'm as hopeless in that area as I always thought I was.  I want to memorize verses, and do an Advent study, and have enough blank space in my day to meditate more on what I've read.  I want to stop insta-sharing, and let things ruminate a little bit, and grow into something better so I can share the thought here, fully formed.

I want to focus more attention on my actual life instead of focusing on just making it look pretty on social media.

I love that quote from Annie Dillard that I came across earlier this year.  She said, "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives."

I want to spend mine on something better than Instagram.


Have you ever taken a social media break?  How did it go, and how long did it last?

This isn't my first break, I took a break from Facebook years ago, and again last December, but I'm looking forward to a more thorough break this time!  It's the first time I've said goodbye to Instagram since I joined.
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Megan said...

I’ve been struggling with the social media consumption too. I’ve taken breaks before but inevitably I get back on. I think it’s tike for a definite break again. I’m wasting so much time scrolling. And for what? Thank you for your honesty in this and encouraging me to take a break too.

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for sharing! I have your blog saved so I'll look forward to reading your updates here. I do feel better when I'm not on FB for a while, but that's where I connect with a ton of people that I wouldn't know how to contact otherwise. I do sort of have this panic that I won't know anyone's major life news otherwise because no one writes emails anymore. Instagram is kind of weird in that it's addictive but I don't really interact with anyone. It's the main place where I share photos. I could definitely do with checking it for like 10 minutes a day, as you said you had tried. I think I did well when I didn't have a smartphone and limited social media to my small window of computer time. However, it's convenient to post photos from my phone since that's the camera I use. Anyway, good luck and enjoy your increased family time!

Chantel said...

I love this! I haven't used Facebook much in the last couple of years other than to post blog posts to my various pages. I have a Chrome extension called Newsfeed Eradicator which means it completely gets rid of my FB news feed so when I do log in I can do what I intended to do instead of getting stuck in the black hole that is endlessly scrolling. I haven't figured out if or how I want to do a social media break over Christmas but I really enjoyed last years so I think I'll do something similar. Can I ask what you are using to automatically publish to Instagram?

Callie said...

Chantel, yes, I am scheduling through! It seems to be working pretty well so far!

Amanda said...

I actually deactivated my Facebook over the summer and was off it for several months. I recently got back on, but I have not posted or interacted on anything at all except to buy things in my buy/sell/trade groups I'm in haha. For a couple of years I took an Instagram break for the first week of every month, and that was a nice refresher. I have actually never used the Instagram Chatbooks and just make my own every so often, and I love it! Hope you enjoy your break.

Felicia said...

I love this, Callie! I haven't been on Facebook in a few months and I don't miss it at all. I struggle with Instagram, though. It's just my instinct when I'm bored to just go to Instagram, and I need to break that habit! In January my church does a church-wide month of prayer and fasting, and I will probably fast from Instagram for the month. I hope that you will get so much out of this break!!

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