Some of my friends have begun to notice that they cannot find me in my usual internet homes of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Almost a month ago, I decided that I spent too much time swiping on my phone. I spent too much time typing clever things or political things or religious things onto my mobile’s keyboard. I realized that I spent too much time holding a phone than holding a friend’s hand or the hand of someone in need. I realized that my life goals and activities had been skewed by 14.5 square inches of real estate. I’m writing this to explain my motives while avoiding social media. I’m writing this to explain the benefits and difficulties with this project.
I should first begin with explaining why the title also says “…and Why I’m Doing It Again.” Today, in order to keep my Twitter account from deleting all my data; I reactivated it before deactivating it once more. Since I had looked at it for a minute, I decided to check out Facebook. Although my account was not view-able by anyone, I still had over forty notifications just from groups that I’m a part of. I instantly saw a post for a friend that is raising money for an overseas trip, and I was excited to see the update. But I almost immediately felt queasy. Social media just has a way to drag us back into junior high and high school where everything is life or death. I kind of felt like I was seeing an elaborate computer program, and not the people from my hometown or my home at OBU. I immediately deactivated my account again, and I feel better now. I guess it was just too much for me.
It was difficult. Just yesterday someone told me an awesome thing they did and told me to check it out on Facebook, and I couldn’t. That has been happening for over four weeks. I have been constantly enamored with, “I guess you heard about…” or “Did you see?”; but my response has been, “No, I didn’t.” I haven’t seen anything. If someone is working somewhere else, I don’t know. If someone got hurt, I don’t know. If someone got engaged, I don’t know. If someone won a million dollars (which has not happened from what I’m aware of), I don’t know. And I’m glad I don’t.
When someone assumes that I know something, for the first time in eight years, I have to be ignorant and let them teach me. For the first time in eight years, I have to have a conversation that starts earlier and ends later than “Oh, I know. Isn’t that terrible.” For the first time in eight years, I don’t have to be envious of anyone’s life because I’m too focused living mine.
Some people may think I’m crazy. I have detached myself from the world. Everyone is doing it, and I am far behind. I still miss it. I’m still in a detox stage. But I’m glad I did it, and I’m doing it again. I might eventually go back. When school starts I might reactivate old accounts. When I have something to share I might. But for now, I’m happy living my life in what feels like limitless real estate in comparison to those 14.5 square inches that once enslaved my life.