Over 18 months ago I confessed something that probably made many of you gasp: I deleted Facebook and Twitter from my iPhone. You can read more about the honesty behind my choice here. I thought it would be interesting to write a follow-up post on the topic, since social media has come so far since I published that post (including so many new apps).
When I wrote that post I was feeling really overwhelmed with social media; mostly Facebook and Twitter. Because we don’t have a landline, I usually kept/keep my phone near me at all times. And since skinny jeans give you zero room for keeping your phone (safely) in your pocket, it’s usually sitting next to me, making it it sooooo easy to grab my phone and start flipping through various apps. Again and again and again.
I felt absolutely overwhelmed over how much time I was wasting on my phone, which was a shocking realization. Instead of living my life, I was reading about others’. That is so not OK. And please note the difference between using your phone for purpose and using it as a pacifier. Because there is a difference, and the difference is huge.
Have I added Facebook and Twitter back to my iPhone? I have added Facebook, but I also delete it regularly. I haven’t added Twitter yet, and don’t really plan to. Any time I feel the Facebook app is taking control of my life, I delete it. I’ve become very self-aware of this feeling. When I find myself reaching for my phone before finishing something important, I know it’s time to delete it. When I find myself going from app to app, not even realizing what I’m reading or caring about what I’m reading, I delete them.
And here’s a momentous thought: all important messages will be delivered to me either through a phone call, email, or text message. I don’t NEED to read about it first over social media.
What about other or newer social media apps, like Pinterest and Periscope? Have I added those? Yes, I do have both on my phone, but I very rarely use them. They aren’t “all consuming” for me, meaning I use them for a very specific reason and then it’s pretty easy for me to forget about them until next time. Something super interesting though: when I first installed Periscope I kept the push notifications turned on, which I normally don’t. And after feeling really overwhelmed for many days in a row, one day I realized it was because of Periscope’s push notifications. I had been feeling like I needed to do more!, take more photos!, sew more!, be more! when really I just need to be me. If something comes from it that I want to share (later), awesome. But if not, also awesome!
Social media is a really powerful concept. It’s a huge reason I have this online community, and a huge reason why our family has been able to transition pretty seamlessly in Minneapolis and in Los Angeles. We’ve had friends, neighborhoods, churches, and companies referred to us, all with the help of social media. But with all good things, it needs to be taken in moderation.
Too much social media isn’t healthy, and when your soul begins to feel overwhelmed and unsettled it’s crucial you take note. Don’t wait until later to take care of yourself. The time is now; freedom is calling you.