Social Media Rest
When the allegations came out about Louis C.K., I obsessively read everything I could find on the latest sexual harassment scandals. I even began to think, “I can’t wait to see who’s next.” But scouring feeds for updates put me in a bad mood and took up all of my time.
That’s when I decided to download Moment to track my phone use. I was spending 6 hours a day, or 25% of my waking life, staring at a screen. So I deleted the addictive apps from my phone and took a hard break from all social media and news. What chunk of your day do you spend on your phone?
After cutting out social media and news, my phone time now ranges between 2 and 4 hours. Which still seems like a lot!
The creators of Moment say we underestimate our phone use by 50%. If you think you spend about 3 hours, chances are you’re closer to 6. It’s one thing if you have to use your phone for work, but how many hours are you just staring at a screen, bored or outraged, wasting your time?
Social media can give the illusion of connectedness, but study after study show the opposite. We know that social media makes us feel more isolated, dissatisfied with our lives, and depressed. I challenge you to give your feeds a rest for a while.
From The Center for Humane Technology website:
Our society is being hijacked by technology.
What began as a race to monetize our attention is now eroding the pillars of our society: mental health, democracy, social relationships, and our children.
If the biggest names in tech get together to say, “Gee, it’s kind of bad that we made everyone addicted to their phones. We need to reverse this trend,” we should listen. Watch this TED talk if you want to get freaked out about how tech gets into your head.
What would you like to have accomplished by the end of this week, month, year? At first when I unplugged from the madness, I felt kind of out of it. I would pick up my phone and stare at it, not knowing what to do with myself. Then I started doing other things: I read whole books, picked up old hobbies, like knitting and the guitar, and I spent time doing fun things with real live people.
I don’t miss scrolling all those ads! Or photo after photo of stuff/people I don’t really care about. I don’t miss hearing opinion after opinion about the horrible state of the world. From my vantage point, things look pretty good and people I meet are loving and generous. Some may say I have my head in the sand. I say: this life is super short. If you’re spending most of it staring at a screen, you’re not actually living it.
Give it a try. But don’t feel tempted to post every aspect of your progress. Talk about your experience instead with a friend face to face. Trust me, you will be such a happier, saner person – you won’t even notice the FOMO.
- Jerene Dildine