Recently I removed the Facebook application from my phone, stopped my daily Instagram posts, and stopped scrolling through news feeds on social media. Here are some of the personal observations I made, and what prompted the decision to redistribute my time.
While I sat in school listening to the teachers lecture, other students would sit right in front of me, or beside me, and scroll through their news feeds. Although they were mostly silent, I was still distracted by their behavior. What were they looking at? Why was it more important than the classes they paid for? How could it be interesting for so long? I would watch them blankly stare at their devices and often they would do that for the entire 2 or 3 hours we were there. What were they getting out of it?
So was I any better? Definitely not. I would go on Instagram to do my daily post, like a few of my favourite accounts, and then start scrolling. After that I would do the same thing for Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Linkedin to name a few. This happened for the longest amounts of time in the morning and before bed, but I would also check in for shorter amounts of time throughout the day.
Chained to the Algorithm
The reason that I started, and continue, to use social media has stayed the same. I have moved cities a couple of times and social media sites make it easy for me to keep in touch with friends and family. I can get updates on how they are, see pictures of their vacations, and laugh at the latest meme or vine with them.
Or can I?
The truth is, now when I scroll through my feed I mostly see posts from people I haven’t kept in touch with. No amount of unfollowing or unfollowing seems to change the content that the site wants to show me. What it wants to show me is advertisements, poorly written stories, and articles that are also advertisements.
Taking Back My Time
So off it all went. Instead of scrolling while I’m in class, I listen and if we happen to be talking about a subject I’m ahead on, I’ll do other school work. It is allocated learning time after all. Instead of checking all of the feeds in the morning I have time to do something healthy for myself. I take a walk outside, go to the gym, or just make a good breakfast. What about my friends and family? I contact them directly.
Have you ever considered deleting your social media accounts?
What’s stopping you?