Several months ago I made the decision to move away from my social media accounts. It wasn’t easy, as although I didn’t realise I had become addicted to screen time.
I came to realise that after 18 months of Covid restrictions, my virtual world was just that… not real. I had for some time been frustrated with several aspects of Facebook in particular, both the platform itself and fellow users.
Many people don’t realise that Facebook controls what you see allegedly based on what you like. But the reality is there is a financial motive behind the algorithms.
For example. I ran a Facebook Page based on our 2 dogs. Over nearly 9 years the content was of enough interest to gather 8,000 plus followers. However it got to the point that a new post would only reach around 100 of the 8,000. In part this is because followers who don’t engage regularly, by liking or commenting, stop seeing page posts on their timeline. But it also “allows” Facebook the opportunity to invite the Page owner to Boost a post for a fee, to the very people you have worked hard creating content to follow you already!
To varying degrees I also found social media had become anti social for me. Both in content shared by others and my frustration at being to polite to engage. Being silently annoyed by the opinion or facts shared by others, however wrong you think they are, is not a good place to be in!
So step one was to deactivate my Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram and Pinterest accounts. After a week of not checking my phone, I felt liberated! To the point I made the decision to delete not just shelve them. Across my hobbies, work and church assignments that equated to over a dozen different media accounts and multiple group memberships.
The pros and cons
I felt free and had literally hours of extra time in my week. I began to notice how much people have a phone in their hand as mine was now in my pocket
I was free from the desire to check up on how well my new posts were performing. Yes I had become sad enough to be interested in likes and shares!
A part of me was disappointed that no-one missed my content creating efforts, even among my non virtual friends, no one asked where I was or why I wasn’t posting. Bearing in mind I was not just a sharer of others efforts, I had spent hours creating videos pictures and blog posts. I realised my content that I valued highly, in reality had little or no value for others. But that reinforces my post title. Social media, by nature does not foster society.
I realised how dependant organisations had become on the ease of Facebook posting. Have we lost the art of one to one contact? In particular I now have no idea what my church congregation have planned or are doing week to week. As often the only announcement is via Facebook.
The one thing I have missed is having an outlet for my creativity. I have still taken enjoyment in making music videos and photography. But I have learnt that the joy is in creating for me not others… Having said that I have this week decided to re-dip my toe in the world of Instagram. I believe being image based, it has the least potential to have toxic text and the most creative image content from others to enjoy.
Come find me at @rjrdaydreamer
What are your thoughts, has social media passed its sell by date ?