Rethinking Social Media

I don’t want to be one of those people who said they are fed up with social media and then came back two weeks later, looking down on the rest of us from their digital detox high horse, writing articles like “I left social media and this is what I learned” and posting it on social media.

But it’s been a while since social media has been truly fun for me. 

I’ve always liked Facebook. It allows you to follow and unfollow people without them knowing and while staying friends with them. Sometimes I think it’s the only social site I need. But, how come only old people are still on Facebook now? Where have all my friends gone?

Instagram, apparently. But I often find myself spending hours on Instagram, just mindlessly browsing through stranger’ photos. It’s like the app is designed so that you never leave the place. Ever.

And then there’s Goodreads. To an author (or just me), opening Goodreads is like entering a warzone. I’d get so worked up on whether or not people like my book. How many reviews does my book get today? How many stars?

And so I came to a point where I wondered, what does this add up to? What do I get out of this? Sometimes it feels like I’m doing it out of habit or seeking validation (yay, likes! I still have friends!) than anything else.

So I tried some tips from people who broke up with their phone. Some people switched back to a dumbphone, because apparently dumbphone is the new cool. Eh, a little too extreme for me. Next.

Deleting the apps? I did that for Twitter and Goodreads, but then I’d just find myself opening the sites from the web browser *shrugs*.

Putting my phone in a different room during sleep? Here’s the situation: I usually wake up an hour before my daughter does, but I can’t leave the bed because somehow, her subconscious knows that and she’ll wake up. And asleep is how I like her best (I know, I’m such a bad mom). So without my phone around, I just stare at the walls. Alone. With my thoughts. At 4 am. Nah.

The only trick that works so far (other than STRONG willpower) is to log out of my account after using the app. The need to log in every time I want to use an app prevents me from checking it every 15 minutes.

I still haven’t found the middle ground to this problem (once again, other than STRONG willpower). Like, I still want to use social media once in a while, but not give in to what the developers want, i.e. for me to spend as much time as possible using the apps.

Can everyone just go back to Facebook, please?


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