If there is one thing in my life which absorbs many hours of my time, it is Facebook. And I would be the first to say I spend quite a large amount of time on it. So for this week I decided to have a week off. No Facebook for 7 days.
At first I got a wave of panic – what if I missed something important? What if I got invited to an event that week? Well it would have to wait.
I surprised myself by actually not missing it that much. I did think a couple of times about what might be going on but my attitude was that if something was so important, the person would get in touch with me another way.
It was a very liberating thing to do, to cut loose from the ties of social media and just live in the real world for a week. It may sound strange to say that but I think often we attach too much importance to what our friends are doing in the virtual world, that we often take for granted how well we know them.
For this week, I wasn’t relying on Facebook to tell me what someone had been doing and as a result I was asking more questions about people’s lives rather than just coming to the assumption that they had done something far more exciting than me as it was posted all over my news feed.
There is a lot of negativity which can accompany this reliance on social media because as I just mentioned, it can make you feel as though you’re missing out on something or that other people are doing something more fun. In actual fact, this is not the case, it is the way you perceive it and it boils down to the fact that, if not used carefully, it can be very destructive to your self-confidence.
So I managed a week without it and when I logged on again, I realised I hadn’t actually missed an awful lot. I’m now trying to log on just once a day rather than three or four so that I’m not relying on it for that ‘feel-good’ factor that you get when you see those red notification icons. Instead, I’m seeking that from real company and asking people what they’ve been doing rather than simply ‘liking’ their status.