Thursday, February 13, 2014

Day 1: Admitting You Have A Problem Is The First Step

I realized today I have an addiction to social media. People have been telling me for a long time now that I am a "Facebook addict" but I truly didn't think I had a problem. I am certainly not the only person who checks her Facebook account everyday, am I? But something happened today that made me realize that I needed a detox from social media: I posted a complaint about work. So you just read that and you are thinking, "And...the problem with that is...?" I pride myself on not bitching on social media. I try to post uplifting or funny things. Basically if you are following me online, I am trying to make your day better. I follow plenty of "Debbie Downers" who use social media to bitch about everything from Dunkin Donuts getting their coffee order wrong to our crumbling economy (complete with annoying anti-Obama memes...come on people, have a little respect, he is our President for gawd sakes). That just isn't my style. So today when I bitched about something to 400 people who follow me on Facebook, I went to the dark side of social media; I used it to spread negativity and all around bitchiness and I subjected a few hundred people to all of this. My behavior gave me pause.

It was at this point that I began assessing my relationship with Facebook. When I thought about it, I realized how truly dependent I am on social media. I don't just check my Facebook account once a day - I check it (at minimum) three times a day: when I wake up, usually around lunch time at work, and then again after work/before bed. But if I am having a day where I am really sad, really bored, or really anything, I often check it more times than that. I am a person who uses social media to escape real life on a fairly regular basis. Also, I now realize that I think in Facebook posts. What does this mean? It means that every witty thought that pops into my head, every picture I take of my kids doing something fun, every super fun experience I have, every inspiring notion that drifts through my little brain, immediately becomes a Facebook post in my mind. Without fail, everything I say, think, and do, I am almost immediately thinking about posting it online to share with my friends. And it has gotten to a point where it feels like my need to share so much of myself online is interfering with my ability to have genuine experiences in real life. Instead of Facebook being a fun thing to pass time or connect with friends, it is now playing a starring role in my life. And that is just not cool.

So I decided to challenge myself. I am starting with 24 hours and will then take it hour by hour thereafter to see how long I can go without using Facebook. I am also avoiding other forms of social media during this "detox" even though Twitter, Instagram, and some of the others out there really aren't my "drug of choice". I worry that I might transfer my addiction to one of the other social media sites while I am not allowing myself to use Facebook and I wouldn't want to end up addicted to something else.

So I am going to use this blog to document my experience with this experiment. How long will I last? What will this detox feel like? Are there night sweats and hallucinations associated with coming down off of social media addiction? I really have no idea. So I will share it all on here so the readers out there will know what to expect in case they too decide to detox from social media. I'll be your guide in this spiritual journey. And hopefully we will all be a little more awesome at the end of this.