We live in a very “connected” time, we all know that. (My mum called me worried once because I hadn’t been active on messenger for 19 hours and she thought something might be wrong!) We look at the world and see instagrampicture this and snapchat that. If we read an article we go on and share it on Facebook (the reason we read it in the first place was probably because someone else shared it and we couldn’t resist to click the link).
I recently closed down my Facebook account and deleted the Instagram app off my phone. Not because I don’t like it, but because I liked it too much. I found myself compulsively checking instagram, even though I literally was scrolling through it 40 seconds ago. How much could’ve happened? Why did I need to know?! It’s like when you have a bag of chips and you can’t stop eating; I had my phone and I couldn’t stop scrolling. I would sit on the sofa, thinking “I’m getting tired, I wonder what time it is” pick up my phone and find myself putting it down half an hour later, after looking at photos of “child actors now and then” or some other random crap I clicked on but wasn’t actually interested in. And still not knowing what time it was. So again, like with chips, a little bit is fine and yummy, but it’s easy to go overboard, downing the whole bag, which isn’t good for anyone and it will likely leave you feeling slightly nauseas. That’s how I would feel after binging on social media for too long, a little bit sick and like I’m just wasting my time, and my life, for no good reason.
So bye bye facebook, see you later instagram, welcome to stay snapchat because lets face it I don’t really know how to use you anyway. (I also deleted pinterest for two days, because it’s like a never ending well of glorious inspiration where I know I can spend countless hours if I let myself. But like the addict I am I succumbed to temptation and reinstalled it. I did set up some rules for myself though. And if facebook is a bag of chips, pinterest is more like, I don’t know, fruitsalad? You can have too much, but at least it has some nutrients.)
For the first couple of days I grabbed my phone to “check in” only to find an empty space where my much loved instagram app used to be. I also had a pretty major FOMO. But it actually went away fairly quickly. I remembered to bring a book to read on the train. I could watch tv without double screening (as much). I was more present with the kids and found myself enjoying moments more where earlier I might’ve been trying to get a good picture and think of a witty caption.
I still check Instagram on the computer every now and then. Once a week maybe, and every time I do I realise I don’t actually miss it that much (I get updates from my closest friends via snapchat and whatsapp, so I still feel like I’m “in the loop” with the people that really matter to me).
What I have found interesting is that by not sharing little pieces, I have given myself the space to formulate whole texts to share on the blog instead. Not that the blog is for sharing in the same way. If I put something on instagram I would be thrilled by all the likes I would get, and that would almost mean more than what I was sharing. Because lets be honest, it’s fun to get likes; it gets a bit addictive. Writing for the blog is different, someone might read, and that’s nice, but if not it doesn’t really matter. It’s more about putting my thoughts on paper and practice writing and sort of test-driving my opinions and air out my beliefs and see what comes out when I pick a subject and start writing.
I don’t expect I’ll stop sharing things anytime soon, but it’s refreshing to look at what I’m sharing, and why.