To say I have been 100% without social media would be a lie. However, I have drastically increased the amount of time I am on social media. The biggest thing was I deleted my Facebook and Twitter accounts. No I didn’t log off and just let them be, I went all out and deleted them. I didn’t go out with some grand gesture. I didn’t make a long post before I went about the whys and the whens. I didn’t even know I was really going to do it until I clicked the delete button. I know this won’t be a permanent thing. I don’t intend for it to be. It is more of a social experiment where I am the only subject. I spend hours and hours every day checking my Facebook groups, posting on twitter, scrolling through instagram, or watching stories on SnapChat. I was easily clocking 3 hours a day on a light day and up to 6-9hours on a weekend or off day. Maybe even more than that to be honest. It was just incorporated with my day. It was a routine, a habit, an addiction.
On Saturday night I discovered I was hacked on Facebook. They didn’t change my profile picture, post an out of character Facebook status or anything public like that. Instead they went through my “people you may know” list and added over 100 people. I didn’t know if it was supposed to be a harmless action, if someone was sending a message, or if someone was trying to get access to me. My profile is locked down pretty well unless we are friends.
I really don’t know who did it, when they accessed my account, why they did it, or if they did anything else. After changing my password and logging me out of all remote locations I just decided I didn’t want to deal with it. I felt uneasy and just eliminating the whole situation felt easier. On Monday I was returning to the life of being a full time student and a full time employee. I have done it before, but it is no easy task. The less distractions the better.
Over the last few weeks I have become frustrated with Twitter. Things I would post were seen by an individual who manipulated my words to feed her paranoia. I know the whole point of Twitter is to share with the world and I love having followers. I think it is a high form of flattery that people care what I think, do, and say. It makes my life seem a little cooler than average. However, knowing that someone is maliciously watching makes me very uncomfortable. It is a good thing to start being aware of, because it is my hope to get a career with social media, PR, advertising. How can a company trust me to promote them when I am unsure of how I am promoting myself? So, when I decided to delete my Facebook I also decided to delete my Twitter.
I am leaving Instagram, because that is a source of joy for me. I did get in light trouble for posting a video last week that was perceived the wrong way so I have been cautious. I only post one or two pictures a week though and when I was on tour I broke the habit of scrolling through every picture on my feed each day.
I love Snapchat. I couldn’t bring myself to part with it. I did decide to use it as a messaging app though. Instead of keeping up with everyone’s story or keeping my story updated I am only doing one on one snaps.
So I cut Facebook and Twitter. Still feeling a little shaken from last night combined with feeling free without social media I decided I would keep my phone on airplane mode for the day and complete my disconnect. I wanted to download something from spotify around 11 and saw I had three voicemails. So, going 100% off the grid isn;t an option in case something bad were to have happened. For the rest of the day I just kept my phone on do not disturb. That was if someone called me twice in a row it would ring, but I was able to stay blind to everything else.
I wish I could say I spent my day doing more productive things, exercising, cleaning, studying German, whatever people who don’t have social media addictions do. Instead I played a lot of Tetris, Sudoku, and listened to my audiobook most of the day. I reformatted my computer, did dishes, laundry, and a few small housekeeping things. Definitely not enough to show for a day off without distraction.
I have gotten a few concerned texts of people who think I blocked them. It is funny that people assume that it was personal, because the idea of me off social media is laughable. I am a social media queen! I wish I could have made a post announcing my absence so that no one notices and thinks it was something personal. In my experience though, people only do that to get attention. For that reason I just had to rip the bandaid off quick and easy. I will be back on both social media platforms. It might be at the end of the week, it might be in a week or two. I have entertained the idea of not rejoining until I love 10lbs, until I finish half my online courses, something that would make rejoining social media a reward. Really though what I need to do is wait for the day when I don’t first think “I should post this on Twitter” when something “interesting” happens. The day when I don’t habitually type “Facebook.com” in to the search bar without a second thought. I also need to rejoin when I have the time to go through my Facebook and try to clear out the strangers. I might go through my twitter and clean that up as well or maybe make a new one starting from scratch. I don’t really know.
I do know I can finish my degree in a little over a year, but it will take some hard work and focus. I know that my oversharing could keep me from getting what I want the most in my personal and career lives. I know I will definitely be back on before I take my social media class in July. I can’t see myself taking a class on social media and not using social media. It is hard to read the uncomfortable “did you block me” messages and know that there are probably others that have noticed that won’t say anything. I like how my life looks without a social media addiction. I just need to get to that point. Now I just need to figure out how to access spotify without Facebook…