Do you drive your social media? Or, does it drive you?
Close your Twitter account, uninstall Snapchat, and nuke your Facebook profile. Here’s why you may need a social media detox.
You feel the urge to check your phone or computer as soon as it beeps.
Curiosity is just human nature. Have you ever been animatedly telling a story to someone when someones phone beeps urgently. Suddenly contact is lost and the story trails off into platitudes.
Do you feel the need to respond to every Facebook message?
It’s messenger, you don’t have to respond to every random message from your 487 ‘friends’
Do you just talk to people on messenger ‘just because?’
Would you ring them or send a text? No? Maybe don’t FB message or tag them then either. Just because messages are easier to send to just about anyone, doesn’t mean you should always use them. Share things by all means but random tagging and linking some random found internet curiosity is just getting weird. Spam was more manageable when it was just email.
Are you seeing anything from your friends lately on your feed?
Probably not, and if you do it’s an airbrushed shot clearly framed to promote the image of an enviable life. It’s so bad now that virtually no one posts pics of anything really unless it comes with a ‘look at/bet you wish you were me’ caveat. Remember photo albums? We’d wait until someone came around to see us, and then we’d ask them if they wanted to see the photos, and if they said no, we didn’t force them to.
Who are some of these people?
Honestly, how many of the people did you meet once? Have you even met some of these people? Years later can you remember all of them? Wouldn’t just taking their phone number, or a business card do?
Are some peoples’ politics (all politics) making you angry/sad/happy?
Now social media is pulling your strings. It’s meant to be the other way around. We’d dictate what was on social media, now social media dictates itself, and we just keep scrolling.
Did you just use a hashtag?
How can everything boil down to single, un-punctuated words? Surely, you are more than that? Research proves that hashtags work on Instagram and Twitter, they suck everywhere else.
Did you go somewhere and do something, just for the opportunities to post on social media?
If you’re not a celebrity or journalist then are you wasting your time? If you are posting only to get some gratification from the number of likes or comments then you need a holiday from social media. Go do some things for yourself, not for the likes.
Do you get your news from Social Media?
Have you heard of confirmation bias? The Oxford dictionary describes it as ‘The tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one’s existing beliefs or theories.’ The news delivered by social media is based on our activity. So, the more you like something, the more they’ll show you, and so on and so on. Eventually, the news you get is completely biased to what you want to hear.
Do you need social media, or does it need you?
Social media trades on the content it hosts and how relevant that content is to you. Your posts are social media’s content. Other than that, they have nothing to show anyone but ads.
Have you used the internet for anything else this week?
The internet is a vast, wild, and exciting space, and social media is only one small aspect. Think of things like email and image hosting first, then think of things like, web sites, blogs, calendars, communities, trading posts, and forums. Experience shows that there’s more to be learned anywhere but social media.
Take some time off social media, maybe get rid of it altogether, liberate yourself!