I wrote a post for MotherHustle recently where I talked about how we miss out on so much because we’re too busy looking at our smartphones, and it has really stuck with me. Whether it’s trying to take pictures of the kid or checking my email or Twitter (or Snapchat or Facebook or Instagram!) I was really starting to feel like I was spending too much time on my phone.
So I made some changes; the first being that I deleted Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter from my phone.
Then I went a little further. I started culling through my Facebook friends list, because I realized that off my 500-something “friends” there were several (like, hundreds) of people that I haven’t talked to/interacted with/heard from in ages. So I started deleting.
It became a game. I tried to get my number under 400. Then 300. Then 200. I went through and reeeeeally tried to think about whether or not I would consider myself “friends” with each person. Was I hanging on to a connection out of some sort of obligation? Were we “friends” because we went to elementary school together? Because they’re a friend of my husband’s?
There’s been some research and debate on whether or not you can really be “friends” with everybody on your Facebook list. The way I see it, is I don’t need to “collect” friends if I’m not genuinely interested in or interacting with them. They’re all really great people and I’m willing to bet at some point, our paths will cross IRL again, but I’ve got so much other stuff going on right now that I’d much rather attempt to maintain better online relationships with a smaller group of people than have to weed through a bunch of posts from a whole bunch of people I don’t even really talk to.
And it’s not just Facebook. I’ve had my issues with Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, too. I’ve tweaked my lists and tried to better curate them all. Twitter is mostly for interaction with other writing/reading/blogger/travel peeps. It’s also where I get any form of the news these days. Instagram is for pictures of the kid and cats and the occasional celeb-spotting. And I deleted Snapchat altogether because I was having a hard time bouncing back and forth from one platform of communication to another with the tiny group of people I connected with on there. (Sorry, guys.)
And then, after all that, I’ve still made it a point to try to use my phone less and less throughout the day. It’s a bad habit. It’s definitely an addiction. Our phones are like extra appendages at this point, and it drives me nuts.
I’m trying to limit my screen time and it makes me feel a lot better. Instead of lying in bed first thing in the morning and scrolling through all of my social feeds like I used to do, I get up and go for a walk and listen to a podcast. When my son goes down for his nap, rather than wasting time bouncing from one platform to the next, I have been ignoring my social media mentions and blogging, writing, and doing schoolwork. SHOCKER: I AM GETTING SO MUCH STUFF DONE.
We talk all the time about how busy we are and how we don’t have time to do things, but look at all the time we waste on Facebook and Twitter. Know what I mean?
Anyway… now that I’ve ranted about spending so much time online… I’m going to publish this blog, turn off the laptop, and hide my phone. The kid is going to wake up in an hour and I’ve got homework to do!
Reading: Fledgling – Octavia Butler
Listening: Dear Sugars (podcast)