Sunday, April 1, 2018

A good reason to unplug

I haven't missed Facebook. Twitter I still kind of miss, sometimes thinking that there's something I want to share. Then, I'm forced to realize that I don't need to share and that my brain was rewired by social media to open my life to the world.

But, you know what? I feel so much HAPPIER without those platforms. It's liberating to be without both. At first, you think you're missing out, but if you wean off gradually, it's not quite so difficult. Social media is an ADDICTION. It is unhealthy for your mental state and a big reason our world is in so much trouble, imho.

Part of this was made easier because of a situation at my day job. I have a TV available by my desk and usually have it on various news programs while I'm working, on a low volume, occasionally turning it up to hear an interesting segment. However, when I'm really busy, I keep it off and play music from my phone app, quietly so it's not disturbing to me or my boss in his office.

Well, I realized something after the busy time of the year, after I had the TV off for a couple of weeks so I could concentrate on a gazillion tasks at one time, and then things slowed and I started turning it on again. If I have the TV off, I don't know what I'm missing but am too busy to care. When it's on, I tend to pay more attention to everything, only because it's there in front of me.

Guess what? The same applies to social media. Realizing that I didn't care about what I didn't know on the news made unplugging from social media that much easier for me. If more of us would just not care about what we're missing out on, we would be a lot happier. We don't need to know what someone we hardly know is doing on their vacation or that a social media celebrity got more bling. I mean--really? Does that change your life in some dramatic way?

Probably not. So, why should you care? People are just looking for attention in the form of likes and comments. It's called narcissism, and it's unhealthy behavior, on both sides.

I still have two social media accounts, but one is instagram, for picture sharing. That's all I really like anymore, if someone can tolerate my cat and horse pics and the occasional food or book pics. And I have my G+ account, which I hardly use, and then usually just to share blog posts. This blogspot is also owned by Google. (I had issues with Wordpress that came up on a periodic basis, so I gave up on that blog site.)

Social media can be very toxic, especially Twitter and Facebook. Whether that's in the form of our "friends" commenting something we dislike or something they dislike. It's not like spoken words that we only hear once. Written words are there to see over and over and tend to stick in our minds longer. Why torment yourself? There are helpful aspects also, but most people utilize both.

Back to my original point--unplug. If you are constantly checking social media because there's a little voice in your head questioning what you might be missing, turn it off. Delete one account without opening a new one. Give it four to six months and then delete the next big one. If you still can't slow down, after another six months, give up the next most active account. I promise that once you overcome the withdrawal symptoms (yes, they are real, even for our digital devices and social media), you will feel more peaceful. The world will be a quieter place. You won't know what you're missing and you won't know what should be making you angry, because it won't be constantly poking at you and irritating you. Do you like to feel angry all the time? No? I didn't think so.

I hope that others can see the light as I have. You don't have to quit social media completely, depending on your particular level of addiction, but you'd be surprised how much lighter you feel without the two heavies--Twitter and FB. Quit oversharing your life and begin looking inside for affirmation rather than outside. You'll learn to appreciate what living really is.

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