To start off this post, I have to put out a quick disclaimer. I no longer have any concept of time. It was a victim of COVID. The last six months have genuinely been like six years. So, when you see me reference a particular time period in this post, it could be ten days or four months. Who really knows at this point?
Somewhere towards the beginning of the pandemic, sick of everyone posting their medical opinions online, my wife had the brilliant idea to deactivate her Facebook account. She went on and on about her peace of mind as I ignored her ramblings to look at the same shit in my feed that I had already seen ten times that day. A month-ish or so later, I asked her to reactivate it because she needed it for work in our brokerage. Begrudgingly, she agreed but told me she wasn’t going to put it back on her phone. I ignored her ramblings to look at the same shit in my feed that I had already seen ten times that day.
Until I had just had enough.
Enough politics, enough medical opinions, enough of the nonsense scam posts, and certainly enough of the “news”. For that matter, frankly, enough of seeing the same shit in my feed that I had already seen ten times that day. Why the hell can’t we just see posts in the order they were posted by everyone? Anyway, I digress.
I followed suit. I will admit there was a touch of anxiety as I deleted those familiar icons from my phone. In full disclosure, I kept Instagram on my phone because you can’t post anything other than IGTV from the desktop interface. I wasn’t giving up on social media. It’s “essential” to my business, and, honestly, I like seeing what y’all are up to when you aren’t sharing your political opinions. Just cat memes and food, please.
So, how’s it gone so far, you ask? In a word, awesome.
To start, for probably about a week, I still picked up my phone a lot. There wasn’t anything to look at on the screen, but old habits die hard. Next up, screen time decreased, on average, by over 40%. Sure, I still have days with lots of screen time, but it isn’t on social media. I noticed my mental state was more optimistic. I felt more relaxed.
More importantly, I was more productive. I had more time to be productive. I used that time wisely. I genuinely feel that in the last 6 weeks, I accomplished more than in the three or four months prior. It was pretty great. So far, I have crossed a lot of stuff off of my to-do list, doubled my grad school load, and have some crazy cool stuff coming out for my agents soon.
I heard an analogy on TV recently about social media. They were talking about how, if you lived in a city 100 years ago, you might leave your home in the morning to go to work. On your walk to the office or job site, you might cross paths with and exchange pleasantries with a grocer or some other sort of vendor you knew. Fast forward to today and before you even get out of bed you have 1000 neighbors yelling their unwanted opinions at you. That’s what social media is. No wonder we have so much division in this country.
Now I am not saying that you should delete your social media. You do you. I’m just saying that you don’t need it as much as you probably think you do. Try deleting it for a week. Anytime you habitually pick up your phone to look, remind yourself why it isn’t there. Check in a couple of times a day and you’ll be fine. I think that by practicing this kind of social distancing, you’ll experience some real health.