40 days without social media

Yes it’s been my job for over six years, which is perhaps why it feels even more significant to have given up social media for lent. Some work-related bits I will need to crack on with, but for 40 days I’m closing the door on personal Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Five days in, it feels good. Some things I have noted:

Craving. I have never taken drugs, the most addictive things I consume are probably coffee, sugar and Coca-Cola, but the way I found myself reaching for my phone to check Facebook felt compulsive for sure. It was so habitual. The first day I found myself with phone in hand a couple of times, the next less so, and now the inclination is gone. But boy was it there in the beginning.

World news comes to me over social media. Twitter has become my way to find out about things happening worldwide as they unfold, which I like. I do get some email alerts but aside from those I now need to log on to news sites to proactively get news. Or God forbid, buy a newspaper. I miss this, but perhaps no news makes for better news.

Thought-sharing, including others in the random things that pop into my mind, also happens on Twitter and on Instagram. Mostly my aim is to share the things that make me smile or feel hope or wonder, with the hope to spread it. A brazen sticker on a lamp post, a chocolate smile in a slice of marble cake, general musing or something alliterative – sharing such things as they happened with no one in particular but everyone, was a bit of a hobby. It made me feel connected. Do I need to do it? Do my arrows reach any targets and leave them better off? If I were to journal these things and note them privately, would anything be lost? Is what the world needs from me most random musing?

Connection. This is probably the key one. With a smartphone in hand one is never truly alone. Even at 3am, the world is a slide away, lighting up the dark and the quiet. Something I noticed the first day of not being ‘on’ social media was that I paid more attention to the clouds. I am so used to walking looking down it’s no wonder I have neck ache most of the time. It is a strange feeling to not have a social world at my fingertips. Now, sitting drinking coffee it’s just me, the coffee and the real world. Something about that feels quiet, and slower, and good.

I think it’s too soon to note any other differences, but I suspect my levels of content and peace of higher and will continue to be over the course of this month.

A happy experiment, thank you Easter.

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