“So on Facebook today I read that…..”
“I saw on Twitter that….”
“You’ll never guess who’s pregnant/engaged/split up…? I saw it on Facebook”
“There was a photo on Facebook today….”
“One of the mums I’m friends with, well she’s said today that…..”
“In the chat group I use….”
“I’m so pissed off with something I’ve seen today on Facebook/Twitter…..”
I recently realised that when my husband got home from work most of my conversations would start with one of the above or something very similar. Once I’d realised that it sent me into a bit of a tizz worrying about who I’d become.
I think it mainly started last year when for Mother’s Day my husband kindly gave me an iPod Touch. This basically meant that the Internet was easily accessible and an app meant I could check my Facebook whenever I liked. I was a regular user of Facebook anyway through our laptop, but it was on our old, slow laptop and would mean sitting at the table where it has to stay as it has to remain plugged into the mains as the battery is buggered!!
So one touch of the screen on my iPod and I could scroll through my newsfeed easily….. And regularly. It was one of the first things I’d do of a morning, and the last I’d do at night. God knows how many times I checked it in between. I even used to scroll through in the middle of the night when feeding our newborn baby. I couldn’t do it out and about though as iPod Touch only works on wifi. I only had an old Samsung phone on Pay as you Go so Internet access was limited.
Then came Christmas and the present from my husband was a brand new shiny iPhone 4S, with a contract which allows me unlimited texts and unlimited 3G…… So now dog walks, shopping trips, out in the car (as a passenger),other people’s houses….. Facebook & Twitter could be checked in an instant no matter where I was. (Well, as long as I had signal)
A few weeks back a couple of things got to me and I deleted my Facebook app. But that didn’t stop me, just used safari instead to access my account! Not as often as the app, but still I couldn’t keep away.
The more I thought about it the more I realised I was addicted. I couldn’t go an hour without checking Facebook. If im honest it was probably only 20minutes maximum during the day. How bad is that?!
But what was even worse was that I was wasting time. Wasting time reading stuff I didn’t really need to know. Did I need to know that someone I haven’t seen for 14years was at a restaurant in Leeds for lunch? Was it enhancing my life to know that a child was moved up a class at nursery?
Was I sincere when I wished that person a Happy Birthday just because Facebook told me to?
My life isn’t benefitting from my use of Facebook, and if anything my mind is being frazzled by the use.
I go through many different emotions reading Facebook – happy, frustrated, envious, angry, joy, smug, jealous, bored, paranoid, lonely, curious, disapproving, disappointed, proud…..
As you can see most of these are negative feelings. So why am I inflicting myself with these feelings?
Now, just to be clear, I don’t honestly believe one tiny little bit that my presence on Facebook is enriching anyone’s life. I’m pretty sure a lot of my “friends” are sick of the sight of my children, or hearing about what me, my husband and the girls have been up to. But I do like the fact that I can share moments and that there are some people who are genuinely interested and pleased to see it – for example relatives who don’t get to see us often such as my aunt who lives in New Zealand or my in-laws who live a few hours away.
Anyway, housework has been neglected in favour of social networking, perhaps on occasions I could have been doing something with my daughters / husband instead of reading my newsfeed. I have at times been extremely anti social.
So on Monday I once again deleted my Facebook app (yes I had reinstalled!) from both my iPod & iPhone, and I deleted the history from safari so I can’t log in without actually logging in.
Today is Day 3 and I am actually proud to say I have not logged in to Facebook once since Sunday night. Not something I should be proud of really is it? But for me it is a big deal! My battery life on my phone is lasting a lot longer. I’ve got lots of little odd jobs done. Played with my daughters. Had conversations with my husband.
And even though its only day 3 I feel lighter.
I won’t lie. There’s been a couple of occasions where I’ve picked my phone up to go in to it then remembered. But I haven’t been too bad.
I don’t know how long I will avoid it completely for. I still have the messenger app which allows me to read private messages. And I am still using Twitter, but nowhere near as much. I tend to check it at breakfast, lunch & after the girls have gone to bed.
I will use it again, but my aim is to limit my time of using it to a small amount of time a day, or every other day but I know I need complete avoidance for a while first before I can try to achieve that