Yesterday while scrolling through my blog feeds, I read a post on Apartment Therapy about giving up social media for a month. Somewhat impulsively, I thought, “Me too!” and decided to phase out Facebook for a month. (Conveniently enough, I happened to choose the shortest month of the year.)
I’ve done dramatic Facebook blackouts in the past (read: my misguided college days), always prefaced by a passive-aggressive You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone cup-flipping status message…or at least it would have been if cup-flipping had been a thing back then. It also seems to be somewhat de rigeur to declare oneself high above the fray of Facebook politicking and fake-newsing, again via a mildly to moderately passive-aggressive status update. I really didn’t want this to be some maudlin thing, so all I did was post a simple update asking people to e-mail, call or text if they needed and to keep up with my adventures on this blog. (Shameless plug!) I didn’t want to totally delete my account (since that seems to wreak havoc with my privacy settings, but I wish there were some kind of vacation mode to let people know that I’m not checking in anymore.
If I’ve learned anything from the last 10 years of my life, it’s that my brain abhors a vacuum and social media and smartphones have only enabled this tendency. I knew I needed something to replace mindless feed-scrolling, so I came up with a list of things to do instead of check Facebook (that I then posted on Instagram, which I am still allowing myself because that channel is a much more positive place for me and also much easier to curate…those two things are probably connected).
- read a book for pleasure
- write a blog post
- write a letter to a friend
- do a page or chapter in a business planner or workbook
- take photos with my camera
- knit or crochet
- clear out ONE drawer or shelf (putting a limit on this because I can easily decide that I’m going to CLEAN ALL THE THINGS and summarily get overwhelmed, leaving the room strewn with debris and utterly unusable)
- check Instagram (with a 2-minute limit)
- read blogs from my Feedly and get more ideas
Day 1 has gone great. I still need to get Science Guy to change my password for me so I can’t cheat, but just having it off my phone has probably cut my usage time by 80-90%. And I got everything done that I wanted to finish today (not counting one task that I decided wasn’t important and could be put off to later) AND squeezed in 30 minutes of yoga. Thank you, Facebook Free February! (And a really awesome babysitter.)