Deleting social media has been something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. I’ve noticed since quarantine began that my consumption of social media has shot way up. From March through May it was pretty much the only connection to the outside world. If I’m not on Instagram mindlessly scrolling and watching “stories” of people I don’t even know, I’m getting into Facebook debates in random topical groups I’m in. Or, worst of all: I’m going down the rabbit hole of TikTok videos. TikTok is like eating chips… you can’t just have one, you’ve gotta eat the whole damn bag. One video ends up being 100 videos.
And if I’m not on social media, I’m watching the news on TV about the Coronavirus, BLM protests, riots, racial unrest, politics, elections, etc. It’s enough to make a sane person go mad. When you feel your anxiety increasing every time you log in to social or watch the news it may be a sign that it’s time to take a mental health break. So that’s what I’m doing… I’m Breaking the Addiction to Social Media and 24 Hour News.
Blogging for accountability
In order to give myself accountability with this, I felt like I needed to blog about it. If I say it out loud and promise to share my experience giving up social media and news for one week, then I’m more likely to stick with it.
If we are being honest with ourselves, so many of us have an addiction to our smart phones. The amount of times I pick up my phone a day to check social media is embarrassing. You don’t even want to know what my screen time alerts tell me every Sunday. I’ll be taking that number to the grave!! Admitting I have a problem is the first step in breaking the addiction, right?!
Two reasons to give up social media
The reasons I want to take this 7 day challenge is twofold. First, I want to be more present with my kids. They go back to school in one week and although I’m thrilled about it, as are they, I’m a little melancholy about this 5 month quarantine/summer break coming to an end. I want to spend this last week totally engaged in what we are doing; not checking Facebook and barely listening to them when they are talking to me. The prickly feeling you have on your scalp when your kid says; “Mommy, get off your phone, you’re on your phone too much!” is not a good feeling. It makes me want to chuck my phone into a lake right then and there.
The second reason is anxiety. I am a very laid back, low stress person, so for me to feel my anxiety rising when I’m online or watching too much news is saying a lot. I hate to think how truly anxious personalities are dealing with the state of the world in the last 5 months. It’s no surprise that there has been a rise in alcohol and drug abuse, an exponential increase in calls to suicide hotlines, and a surge in domestic violence. Sometimes it’s all too much.
When being “in the know” can be toxic
I used to say I wasn’t very political and I really didn’t watch the news. As a mom of three little kids I subscribed to the notion that “ignorance is bliss.” I let animated movies dominate my TV for years, subsequently not really being “in the know”. But ever since the news of the Coronavirus broke, I’ve been glued to the news. I watch the Today Show every morning, then local news in the early evening, followed by NBC Nightly News, then into various 24 hour news stations with talking heads lamenting on the the topics of the day. The more I heard, the more anxious I’d feel. Compound the depressing current events in the news with divisive political content on social media and you’ve got yourself a nice little toxic cocktail called being a little TOO in the know.
When people tell me now that they don’t watch the news and they prefer blissful ignorance I want to tell them to WAKE THE HELL UP!! Now isn’t a time to be blissfully unaware. There’s simply too much going on in this upside down world we are living in. That being said; I kinda wish I could go back to that blissful state. That’s back when I actually watched entertainment TV shows and Netflix. It’s been months since I dove into a fun series on TV and even longer since I read a good ole book.
So that’s what I plan to do in the next week. I want to spend quality time with my kids. I’m curious how much more I can get done in a day without my phone distracting me. I’d love to read the book I bought 3 weeks ago–I haven’t made it passed page 16! And I hope to get more sleep. I have a terrible habit of going to bed late as it is; then I lay in bed and scroll my phone for another hour! My husband gave up Facebook a few weeks ago and he said he’s so much happier without it. Who knows, maybe I’ll just keep it all deleted if it goes well. Ha, I don’t actually believe that, but one can fantasize… I’ll check back in next week and let you know how it goes!