We all have reached this point at one time in our lives. Getting rid of the bad and substituting more of the good. We do it when it comes to our health, or at least some of us do, why not do it for social media and the like?
It’s something I have been toying with for a while. A post on Facebook here or there, telling your subscribers you are going to take a break. Hey, I’ve done it before but only with a little success, but each time I have done so, I have come back to social media with a different mindset (good or bad) before falling back into those canyons of social media purgatory.
This weekend was the kicker for me and my psyche.
I know that social media runs our lives, especially true in Appalachia. Sometimes, the gift of social media in one person’s hands is a blessing and sometimes, a loaded gun, ready to shoot up friends lists and hide behind the everchanging shape of freedom of speech.
Everchanging like an amoeba moving across a microscopic slide changing shape as it goes, with no fixed shape.
I’ll admit that I haven’t been the best social media user in the world. I have gone to Facebook many times, given an opinion, been mad at someone or recent events. I’ve paid the price too. I’ve lost friends, people I thought were my friends were actually trolls who seek to exploit controversy along the way, divide and conquer. I’ve used Facebook to be my therapist. I’ve used Facebook to pretty much tell everyone what I am doing at a given time during the day.
Facebook and social media, in general, is dangerous in some people’s hands, whether on a smartphone or behind the monitor. I’ve been chastised for my posts, my opinions and yes, even right down to the very sports teams I pull for, marched in front of the social media tribunal and been verbally cobbed.
I’ve lost friends who decided they didn’t like my posts, comments whether good or bad, serious or humorous.
Yes, I’ve deleted and blocked some friends who either fired off hateful comments, who didn’t respond to my posts, messages or requests or those who pushed my buttons too many times. Political, true life, or even yes, sports teams.
So on Tuesday, after thinking about my place in this social media, gossip-hungry world, I decided enough is enough. I decided to detox myself from social media except for projects I am working on or covering.
Here’s what I wrote on my FB page:
“I’m going to begin the process of “detoxifying” myself from Facebook. There’s a lot going on right now and I have reached a point where despite trying to ignore some posts, they still have a way of creeping back into our lives to cause problems.
I also realize that maybe I haven’t been the best Facebook friend to some of you or poster on here. For that, I am sorry and apologize greatly for inconveniencing some of you.
I will be streamlining what I post, who I post it to and gradually “detoxing” from social media unless it applies directly to what I am doing.
I just realized recently that I am not living life but rather life is living me. I need to take things one day at a time and live in today.”
For short, I’m tired. Tired of the social media life. Tired of the social media rat race.
Tired of trying to be what everyone wants me to be when it comes to checking in on Facebook. Sort of like what the rest of the country and the world wants out of Appalachia. Change to our way of thinking or be ignored.
I don’t want to be a social media robot, regurgitating worthless dribble. I also don’t want to use social media as my personal therapist.
It’s my form of detox in Appalachia without the patch, the pain meds, the mood inhibitors, and yes, the feel-good pills. It’s a healthy dose of reality. It’s something I need to change and quite frankly, so do a lot of other people.
Maybe its a need to get back to the simpler things in life like going to see someone. Spend time with them while they are living, write an actual note or letter. Technology is wonderful but it also sneaks up on you like a thief in the night, to take your very sanity and leave you broken when it comes to family, friends, and acquaintances.
Social media is a great thing but it’s also like that galactic “Black Hole” that’s swallowing up souls and lives like its galactical counterpart swallows up planets and whole galaxies. It makes me wonder about the time I have spent wasting my life away when I could have been doing something good or making a difference in some way with technology or social media.
Lessons learned, a chance to detox and start living life without the cloud of insults, despair and yes, “fake news” circulating about the Internet in front of me.
It makes me a little jealous of how my dad was raised. No electricity, no indoor plumbing, drawing water from the well, studying by an old lamp oil light and work in the field.
He grew up with a radio but it was battery powered and if it was left on, well you certainly didn’t go out and by a new radio. You got a new battery when you could afford it and you didn’t listen to it like we do today, having to have our car radios, XM Radio or streaming broadcasts.
In a way, podcasts are a welcome feature in today’s world. Podcasts are a “listen when you want to” and “subscribe to what interests you.” It was thought that podcasts died several years ago but they have made a strong comeback, heralding the a la carte way of getting our information and entertainment.
Yes, the detox from social media is going to be tough but I guess it is hard for the chain smoker or four pack a day smoker to lay it down cold turkey.
So, if I fall off the wagon between now and my detox from social media, don’t chastise me or give me grief online. Stop and ask yourself if you could do it.
Do you really need it to survive? If it is a business, in this day and time, you need it to use to promote your business or expertise.
But I feel like I finally made the right decision to work on cutting the social media chains that bind me and use this electronic frontier for more meaningful purposes and use it when I need to.
It might make my smartphone run better in the end and do something else that a lot of others need to do. Cut the cord, so to speak, and live life.
It’s the only one we have.