Sunday, 2 March 2014

My facebook detox

This blog is part of my facebook detox. I am not saying I will never go back into fb, but I really want to have a one-month break from it and then limit my participation to once a week, strictly. I realized I'm an addict long ago, and I successfully managed to stay away for a month last year (from June to July, 2013).  What I didn't succeed at, however, was limiting the time I spend online, and facebook remains firmly as the first source of distractions to me. 

So last week I came across this article and it resonated. Although I find the author quite judgmental at times, I cannot say he is entirely wrong. I don't usually feel jealous on fb, although I do admit there have been instances. Anyway, I take being jealous as entirely normal and part of the human experience. Knowing how to manage jealousy is more important than trying to get rid of it completely, I guess. 

But then, he came up with some questions and I was shocked to see that my answer to most of them was a sound YES: 

  • Do you use Facebook immediately upon waking?
  • Do you use Facebook immediately before going to bed?
  • Do you feel irritable if you don't get your precious time with Facebook?
  • Do you spend more than an hour at a time on Facebook?
  • Do you use Facebook at work or school or any other time when you should be engaged in something else?
  • Do you use Facebook while walking outside?
  • Does it anger you if others do not have a Facebook account?
  • Do you get an update on your phone every time someone updates their Facebook?
  • Do you feel the urge to check Facebook while driving?
  • Do you feel sick or on edge if you have not checked your Facebook for a certain period of time?
  • Does the idea of going a weekend or a week without Facebook make you feel uneasy?
  • Do you find it hard to imagine a life without Facebook?
  • Do you get irritable when others insinuate that you may be addicted to Facebook?

I think the fact that I responded yes to most of them is really problematic and I want to fix this. I am not saying the idea of being all the time online is harmful to everyone, but I do acknowledge it is harmful to me. I'm well aware that I will be missing interesting posts from part of my family and friends, and even my communication with most of my college mates will be compromised, but I also understand that no choice is consequence-free and I'm fine with that if it means opening space in my life for more productive/creative stuff. 

Although I will miss on getting updates from beloved ones, I am glad I will be a month away from trivialities that make life seem so unappealing to me. This is some sort of paradox, I guess. I spend huge hours happily procrastinating on facebook, yet I can't stand people complaining about the weather, or making generic statements about how corruption is ruining Brazil. Or even frantically posting selfies or pictures of meals I am not at all interested in seeing. Not to mention the huge amount of racist/sexist/transphobic bigotry I encounter while browsing. Whether in the form of religious B.S or openly aggressive, those posts drain all my energies and I end up ruminating on ways to counter them in a polite manner, even though what I really want is to use the f-word and block the person straight away. 

So, I reached a point where even the cute kittens that people post on fb were sort of giving me to the nerves. I don't think it is about kittens, or babies, or meals, or even selfies. It's about ME not knowing to strike a balance. Maybe I am monotonous in what I post, too. Maybe I ALSO post too much on the same topic. I don't think that viciously posting pictures of your baby is inherently wrong. I think this is inherently part of being human, and I'm really understanding towards that. Because I also understand that I am just seeing too much of the same thing because I am spending too much time online. It's time to make a change. It's time to really enjoy my life without wondering how it would look on a facebook album.  


Post a Comment