What would happen if you woke up one morning and couldn’t sign on your favorite social media site like Facebook, Twitter, Google+? How would you feel? How would you communicate with your friends? How would it change your life? Most importantly what would you learn from it? That is exactly what happened to me.
For the last 2 years, I have decided to give up Facebook Mobile on my phone for the Lenten time period of the 40 days before Easter. Now while some of you may be laughing inside at the lack of relevance doing so has to everyday life, I’m sure the majority of you understand how not having mobile access to a major way of communication can affect you once you have already had it.
Did you know: Over 700 Billion minutes a month are spent on Facebook, 20 million applications are installed per day and over 250 million people interact with Facebook from outside the official website on a monthly basis, across 2 million websites. Over 200 million people access Facebook via their mobile phone. 48% of young people said they now get their news through Facebook. Meanwhile, in just 20 minutes on Facebook over 1 million links are shared, 2 million friend requests are accepted and almost 3 million messages are sent.
via: Facebook Statistics
Now, I didn’t give up FB entirely, I could still go on my computer and catch up with everyone later in the day, so it was really no big deal. Having said that, I decided to take giving up Facebook to the next level for this year by giving up Social Media Entirely for 7 days! Check out my previous blog on the subject, Giving it Up.
For the 2012 Lenten season I decided to go on a week-long Social Media Detox. The Social Media Detox consisted of 7 days of absolutely no Social Media, including Facebook (except for my farm Page) Boucher Farms, Google+, StumbleUpon, Twitter and more. I also decided to give up Social Media based online games such as Scramble, Words With Friends, and more. In order to eliminate the temptation of playing a game or signing on the sites, I simply deleted the apps from my phone. As you can imagine, staying away from social media for a week wasnt the easiest thing to do, but I am proud to say I did it and learned a few things from it like:
- While it is nice to keep up with friends on FB and other Social Media sites throughout the day, there is really not a need to be constantly updated on my phone about whatever it may be. It can wait till later.
- While I may missed out on a few things here and there on FB and other Social Media Sites throughout the day, I quickly discovered how much time I actually had during the day when I didn’t sit down to mess with my phone or computer.
- While I missed conversing with my Social Media Friends, I found myself spending more quality time with the ones who matter the most to me, my family.
- Social Media based games are a blast, but I didn’t really miss them.
- Since I deleted the social media apps from my phone, I basically turned my smart phone back into a regular phone. I discovered after being used to having the world at my fingertips, having a basic phone is NOT an option for me.
So what are the lessons learned?
- Social Media has its very important and ever-expanding place in today’s world of communications, however it also does not have to be constantly “checked in on.” The viral video of the day can wait till the end of the day.
- Quality time is quality time. Weather it be on a Social Media site or with family and friends, make the most of the time you have and try not to mix the two together. Honestly,while there are times when they work well together they usually interfere with each other like oil and water.
- Social Media games like Words With Friends, and other fun apps are great, but only use them to pass a few minutes of time. Dont let time escape you while you are using them.
It’s easy to sit here, typing on my computer and state the lessons I learned, however as we all know actually living by them can be difficult. So here’s my plan.
I plan on checking FB, Google+ etc in the mornings, and at night, after the kids go to bed. This doesn’t mean I wont post a pic or two from my phone throughout the day and check a notification or two, from time to time, but it does mean I wont be on as much in the heart of the day.
Like I stated above, It can wait.
“Letting it wait” has proven to save a lot of time which I can use to achieve other things in life including the most important thing, spending time with family.
I should add a note too, I’m not against Facebook or other types of Social Media, in fact I believe they are a great communications tool which when correctly utilized has unlimited potential to bring people together and make the world a smaller and smaller place. However, it does have some side effects like pulling the Social Media contributor away from the people who are around them, physically. Achieving the balance of the two is the challenge.
As the old saying goes…”Everything in Moderation”
Thank you for reading, and God Bless!