Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Repeat. I often find myself completing this monotonous cycle daily. But what attracts everyone to social media? Is it the fact that people can stay in touch with loved ones with just a click of a button? Is it because people can share their feelings/emotions at any point of the day with their followers? Is it because of the game invites? (Probably not).
Photo CC by mkhmarketing
So what is really so attractive about Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc? I found myself asking that question just last week. Before learning about mindfulness and the internet, I had contemplated deleting my social media accounts. I spend entirely way to much time on Facebook but for what reason? I rarely update my status (unless I share a cat video or some other funny meme), I don’t post a lot of pictures, and I am “friends” with people I’m not really friends with in real life. Another reason why I should probably delete Facebook is because I am always so annoyed when I get done scrolling through my timeline! I get so tired of seeing people use Facebook as their diary and it’s also annoying how political everything is getting.
So in other words, I DO NOT use social media mindfully. Like Paul Miller said in his TedTalk “Quitting the Internet for One Year”, I’m scared I’m going to miss out on something. I’m afraid I’m going to miss out on someone’s Instagram picture or Snapchat story. Isn’t it sad? How we get wrapped up in the world around us and pay more attention to people who don’t think twice about us? I honestly regret creating most of my social media accounts. I waste so much of my day scrolling through everyone else’s lives that I don’t pay enough attention to my own life and the people in it. With the time that I waste I could be reading a book, working out, picking up a new hobby, finishing my homework, etc. The possibilities are endless!
I really found the article “Simplify the Internet” by Leo Babauta very helpful. Leo gives many different tips to help simplify the usage of social media websites.The first advice he gives is to quit Facebook and choose 1 or 2 networks to use. I like this idea because I would like to delete my Facebook account but would like to keep my Instagram account because I love looking at other people’s pictures and love taking and sharing my own pictures. Another tip he gave was to use social media sparingly. I would like to make it a goal to check social media sites once a day at the end of the day and only spend 20-30 minutes on all of them combined. I always have my phone with me but if I were to make it a priority to not touch my phone through out the day I could accomplish this goal.
My goal for this upcoming week is to not let social media consume me. There is so much more to life than sitting on your phone/laptop scrolling through various timelines. I want to spend more time reading and being in nature so I think going “off the grid” will be for the best!