Social Media And Me: An Update


Last year I unfriended half of my Facebook friends. 

It seemed like a drastic move, but it was the culmination of months of evaluation of social media and how I was using it.  I hated how my first instinct in the morning had become checking my phone.  I hated how I would randomly find myself with my phone in my hand and social media open, without actually remembering reaching for my phone.  I hated how social media had affected some of my friendships, and how it was affecting my own attitude toward the world.  I hated that it was stealing my time.

At the time, Facebook was my biggest struggle, so that is where I put all my thought and effort.  What were the things I liked about Facebook?  What were the things I didn’t like?  How could I make adjustments to keep the aspects that were useful to me and discard the rest?  What was making me waste so much time on Facebook, and how could I eliminate those factors?

After a lot of thought and even prayer about the subject, I decided the only thing that would help would be to drastically cut my friends list, unfollow a bunch of pages, and keep my Facebook use to the function that was most useful to me - which was sharing photos with my close family and friends who appreciated seeing them.  I wrote a whole post about my unfriending process here.  I think it even shocked some of you!  But I knew in my heart it had to be done.

Since I took the steps I outlined in that post, I have felt so much more free in regards to Facebook.  It’s not the time suck for me that it used to be.  I might check it once a day, but since I cracked down on my notifications and the people I follow, there is rarely something new.  I hop on and I hop off.  I’ll occasionally share albums so my grandparents can see my photos, and occasionally I’ll share an article that I find interesting, but that is rare.  My Facebook use overall has probably declined by 70%, and it feels great!

However, Instagram is a different story.

Is it possible that all my bad social media habits just switched over to Instagram?  Did the pandemic throw me off, since social media was the only way to connect with my friends for a while? I don’t know what went wrong, but Instagram has been slowly taking over my life this year, and I’ve realized that it’s time for me to re-evaluate that platform now.  I’m hoping I can make a similar transformation to my relationship with Facebook, because once again I find myself with my phone in my hand and Instagram open, without knowing how I got there.

I hate how social media (Instagram) steals all the free moments in my day.  Yes, they are small moments, times when I’m waiting for a child to finish a worksheet so we can move on to the next subject, or waiting in the line at the grocery store.  The ten minutes after my Bible reading in the morning, when I type out a quick Instagram post.  A half hour after my workout when I post a short video.  

But all those “small moments” add up to a lot of time, time that could be better spent on other things.  I could read a book while waiting for that worksheet.  I could shoot a quick text to a real-life friend in the grocery store line.  I could spend ten minutes memorizing Scripture.  I could take some time to just be still and think.

Those things are all worth so much more, in the long run, than a few hearts on Instagram.

So it’s time to evaluate Instagram.  Usually I would wait for my annual social media break, but after having a chat with Derek, I think I’m going to try a different approach to making Instagram adjustments.  More on that coming up this month.

Do you have any boundaries in place for yourself in regards to your time on social media? Or have you taken any measures to make it easier?

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Megan said...

I really wish I had a plan for Instagram. I find myself deleting periodically then always putting it back on my phone. I have a love hate relationship with it. I admit I spend way too much time on it and it always leaves me feeling worse than better.

Emily Powell said...

I feel the same. I wish social media wasn't such a huge source of business for me. It's good and bad at the same time.

Maria Rineer said...

I was off of IG for months and it was great! I had deleted it because it was a time drain and the negatives outweighed the positives. I really liked being off of it and didn´t miss it after about a week. Then my teenage daughters both became pretty active on it and I decided I needed to stalk (in a mother´s best intention way) their accounts to see what they were posting, how others responded to their posts, etc. I don´t like that I´m on it again but I feel like I need to be... and I spend more time on it than I should. Not sure what to do about it :(.

Bekah said...

I have a Facebook account and feel it's important to keep to be able to access information easily (like businesses who don't have regular websites but only have FB pages) and for work, since I have to manage an account for that. But I rarely post on my own page anymore. It has become a very unsafe place for me - in terms of how some of my friends and family behave on it. I enjoy being able to gain information from it - but I don't feel free to share on it like I once did. Instagram is a much happier place for me. I delete accounts that start posting content that isn't encouraging to me - and I enjoy the life and spiritual food I do get from the accounts I follow. I will confess to spending too much time on both platforms. I know I do. But I do enjoy the chance to learn from what I read.

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