Quitting Social Media

The first time I gave up Facebook, I installed a url blocker so I couldn’t reach the site.

“Access denied.”

40 times a day I would find myself blinking at the url blocking site. Wait, how did I get here? I didn’t consciously decide to check Facebook.

It was like a habit loop had been installed into my brain at some primal level. It was like a nervous tick.

I checked Facebook when I was confused. Anxious. Bored. Lonely.

Or for seemingly no reason at all. Except that checking Facebook was easier than focusing on the task at hand.

Eventually, the urge to check it died down. I enjoyed focusing. I enjoyed my emotions staying tied to my thoughts, the events in my life.

I called up friends. “No, I didn’t hear about your promotion. I’m not on Facebook.”

But then I needed to check events. And I disabled the plugin.

Oooh lots of red notifications. I’m missed. Dopamine.

Maybe I should post something. I’ve thought of something clever while I’ve been away.

Immediate likes. People thought it was funny. People commented.

Red notifications piling up. I felt smart. I felt loved.

But that feeling went away. And so I had to think up something else clever. Post that.

Not many people liked it this time.

I felt sad.

And I disabled my Facebook account.

And got hooked on Instagram.

Hey I’m on a hike. Hey, that’s pretty. I should take a photo. I need hearts.

Hey, take a photo of me. I look good. I need hearts from people I will never hug.

Social media would be fine for me, except I’m trying to do something with my life.

I’m trying to learn and grow and, hopefully, be of use to the world.

I don’t need the likes. I don’t need the hearts.

I need the hours of my day and the focus of my mind.