I mentioned in my previous post about the Facebook outage a few days (weeks?) back that I had locked up my Twitter, deleted my YouTube channels, and was thinking about doing something drastic with Facebook as well. I did indeed end up deactivating (but not deleting) my Facebook, and after that, I deleted all 8,000+ tweets in my main Twitter account (but didn’t delete the account itself).
I took the Facebook and Twitter apps off my phone a couple months back, and didn’t really miss them too much. I was visiting them sparingly anyway, and would just go to them online when I wanted to check something.
I feel pretty good about all this, but I’ve also made a little discovery:
I miss both platforms when I’m bored and looking for “new,” whether that’s something new to read, something new to learn, or something new to entertain me.me
Why does this feel like such a revelation? It shouldn’t. Of course that’s what social media is – a place to go to see what other people think and create and advocate for. But for some reason, I remember social media as a place to be seen, and then as a place where I went to see myself think. Now, when I find myself missing it, it’s when I’m idle find myself looking for something to alleviate boredom.
I’ve been trying to think about what I used to do when I got bored. Was I watching a lot of television? Reading? Going outside? Taking naps? My only clear recollections are as a teen and a young adult when I nearly always had a book in hand, and if I didn’t, I was at the library or used book store getting more. I was reading during classes in high school, I was reading as I walked to my job. I was just always reading. The rest of the time, honestly, before social media really caught on? I do not precisely recall.
Ah, also as a child I spent pretty much every spare second outside pretending, exploring, and occasionally chasing rainbows.
Anyway. Contrary to previous deletions, I’m not pretending this time like I won’t ever change my mind. I deactivated Facebook on purpose (as opposed to deleting), because I want to be able to go back if I decide I want or need to. I didn’t delete Twitter for the same reason.
And it’s not a complete blackout, either. I still have Instagram to follow one person’s stories, and I have TikTok
because it’s addictive as fuck to stay connected to my youngest, and I have YouTube because it’s practically like television. It will be those platforms that I reach to when I’m looking for new, now. Unless I figure out how to redirect my boredom to more productive activities.