Last Monday I decided to re-activate my Facebook and re-download all of my social media applications to remind myself what I am responding to. My plan was to return to the social grid for one whole week and create at least one post on each platform. I did this before deactivating myself again last night.
The past week was an interesting experiment to say the least. It felt like I had been offline for so long, but it was only two months. The first few hours back on social media was fun, everything I looked at was new and exciting. However, it didn't take long for this excitement to change. After the first few hours I had nothing new to look at. I already explored and interacted with all of my close friend's Facebook pages and even scrolled through some of their old Instagram photos. When I resorted to looking through my Facebook News Feed, I grew frustrated. I spent a good amount of time looking at things without commenting or liking. Occasionally I would read an acquaintance's post or be reminded of someone I completely forgot I knew. I kept looking and looking but had no idea why. It seemed as though I was just scrolling to pass time. I had the same feelings when looking through my Instagram feed, previously my favorite social media platform. I had no idea why I was viewing these repetitive and mundane images that did not benefit my wellbeing.
The best way I can describe my week on social media is "brain dead." Every idle moment from laying in bed reluctantly waking up in the morning, sitting and eating breakfast, waiting for the bus, on the bus, waiting for a friend, etcetera, was spent scrolling through something for the sake of being busy. When I was offline, sitting and waiting for class to start meant sitting and waiting for class to start. I would read a book or observe my surroundings, both options useful in shaping who I am as a person. When I replaced these activities with constant scrolling, I felt as if gave up myself to be determined by my so called community online.
The most frustrating part of my experience was that all of my friends agreed with me. This past week as I would complain about how much I hate being back on social media they would respond saying something along the lines of "I know, it's so pointless" but won't join me in deletion. I'd like to find a way to visualize my clarity offline to encourage my friends to let go of this strange thing mainstream culture is so attached to.