Thursday, October 26, 2017

A Week Off Social Media

Off Facebook for a week and it’s a mixed bag of emotions and experiences. For starters, the number of times I pick up my phone and swipe to the Facebook app, as my brain says “Let’s check Facebook” followed by the thousandth realization that it’s not there, is downright creepy. I grab for my phone constantly and 9 out of 10 times, my brain seeks social media. And when I land on the screen where my apps used to live, I don’t just leave the phone. I find the next distraction. Weather, news, audio, games… It’s one thing to listen to Pandora on a car ride, but reading the news while walking the dog is not necessary and a poop hazard. The next step of this experiment will be to limit my phone use overall because I can feel the phone pulling on my psyche almost as much as I felt social media’s tractor beams.

The next realization is that I miss Facebook and I miss social media, but not that much. I feel a little more isolated and lonely, but I’m more aware of the richness of the in-person relationship as opposed to the quick dopamine tickle of a social media alert. Nevertheless, I do feel the dreaded Fear of Missing Out. I just need to keep focused on the fact that I’m mostly missing out on a noise of chaos and/or celebration that doesn’t really matter to my top priorities at the moment.

I have to make a confession. I’ve already found ways to incorporate Twitter and Instagram into this blog. This is technically a social media cheat, but let’s look at this in the spirit of the law rather than the letter of the law. My goal is to not get caught up in the topic/crisis/celebration de jour of the social media experience. So, with that in mind, I unfollowed almost everyone. Now my Twitter feed is plugged into The Daddy Experience so I can post short ideas and they can pop up here. I also created a photos page with my most recent Instagram photos. If I can use these as tools without being sucked into the void, I feel like I’m on the right track.

Family and close friends still want to know “what’s up with The Galans,” so Nicole and I started a very small 23Snaps account. It allows us to have a mini-FB with our very close family and friends who are actually interested in seeing pictures of my kids without them being available to the ogling public. I’ve debated going onto Facebook to remove pictures, but I’m still on the fence. I haven’t missed posting, but I’ve missed sharing. This Daddy Experience and 23Snaps should quell that without me needing to constantly be tethered to everyone else’s thoughts.

Overall, I give disconnection with social media a 10 out of 10. That rating might change, but I doubt it.

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