I decided to take a year-long break from Facebook and Instagram. I started my hiatus a few months early, mostly because it's difficult to not quickly execute a good idea when it comes to your mind, and in my mind, I knew that this was, indeed, a very good idea.
The decision was one made from a culmination of several different scenarios. Firstly, countless conversations with friends that revolved around the phrases, "I'm on my phone too much" or "I read that article on Facebook and now I'm mad", etc. Secondly, I came to realize that social media tends to bring out my not-so-great qualities, such as vanity (if not "look at me", then, "look at my awesome kids!"), comparison (that homeschool mom GRINDS HER OWN WHEAT and we barely made it through math today), gossip (finding that I like a lot of people in real life who drive me batty on social media), and self-control (as mentioned earlier, "I'm on my phone too much.").
The third scenario, and truly the catalyst, came through a simple handwriting exercise that my youngest was performing, a quote from Benjamin Franklin, that reads:
"Be at war with your vices
At peace with your neighbors
And may this New Year find you a better man."
And that's when it clicked. It was time to wage war on my vice, social media, that would, coincidentally, aid in me being at peace with my neighbors. And my goal is to hopefully be a better person on the other end of it, however that may look.
The next day, I shut it all down.
So. How am I doing, thusly? I can tell you. I find myself immersed in the loveliest thing, the kindest, gentlest, most calming and wonderful thing, truly:
I did not realize how much I allowed myself to be consumed with the posting, the commenting, the likes, the self-inflicted pressure to put something out there and then gauge its value based on the response. I could not experience a moment without thinking that I must "document" it, meaning, put it on the Internet for everyone to see. I strove for balance and was always tipping precariously on the side of "too much". Eliminating it all together has been the equivalent of plopping on the couch in my sweatpants and letting out a deep breath. Privacy.
Am I missing things? Events? Birthdays? Oh yes, I've missed a few, already. Will I be totally uncool and out of touch? Possibly. Did I die? No. Not yet. Will I return to social media? Well, I'm not sure. Ask me in a year.
I have an old-school photo album for 2020 that will hold printed pictures, our memories. For us. And family. And actual friends.
And I may blog here and there, but I'm also keeping a journal of my thoughts and experiences.
Much love to you all, and may your day be a lovely one.