New Year, New Me! Isn’t that how the saying goes? Every January brings the flurry of resolutions and reflections on our lives and how we can improve them. I admit, I am no different than anyone else in doing this, but not because it’s the start of the new year. I tend to reevaluate my life pretty regularly. It’s why I don’t just do “Spring Cleaning”, I do bi-monthly purges of my house, and actually have a basket in my son’s closet ready to throw clothes in as soon as he outgrows them. Once it’s full, I donate it-right away. Because yes-I’m that much of an anti-hoarder. And that OCD.
I’m also a believer that resolutions can-and should-be made anytime of the year-not just at the beginning or end of it. As soon as you make up your mind to do something-you should do it. Don’t wait until the first of the year, or month or even week. Just go ahead and start!
However, I did make one resolution as the new year began-I would willow out the amount of emails I get each day that I just end up deleting. I’m not talking the true spam that we never ask to sent, I’m talking the emails we get from stores and websites that we signed up for, thinking at the time it would be useful but instead just instantly delete because who has time to read 1836 circulars each week before grocery shopping?
So for two weeks I didn’t just delete the emails. I instead flagged them, and yesterday spent two hours slogging through them all, figuring out what I actually needed and what I could unsubscribe from, or even better-delete my account with all together. Surprisingly the emails I got the most and hated entirely? The ones that came from social media sites.
Twitter was at one point a great source of entertainment for me. Now it’s just celebrities bitching about politicians and politicians bitching about celebrities and everybody bitching about things that happened ten years ago. I deleted the app off my phone and didn’t even think twice about it for almost three months. So I just deleted the account entirely. Same thing for LinkedIn, which at one point I used almost daily to make connections and search for jobs. Now however, I knew ZERO of my connections in real life, (except my husband), and found it a time-suck. So I dumped it.
I also turned off notifications and emails from Facebook, and emails from Instagram. The only reason I have notifications turned on for Instagram is because my two teenaged daughters are on there (the ONLY social media accounts they are allowed to have-they might be the only people in their schools without a TikTok account but I’m that mean mom who doesn’t want her daughters targeted by sex traffickers so…). The result is I’m spending less and less time on social media, and not missing it a bit.
Not that I hate all social media…I do find it useful as a way of staying in touch with others, finding out information, and finding new ways to smile (I have a snarky meme addiction). However, I do not miss the political and religious rants, or the petty arguments over which influencer mom is ruining her kids lives by telling embarrassing stories about them. I now limit my social media to certain times of the day, like at the gym when I’m on the bike or treadmill…because it does make the time go by faster.
However I’m down to just those two social media accounts-Instagram and Facebook. And I regularly take breaks from them (I was offline for almost two weeks over Christmas and it was glorious). And the more I stay off, the more I come back focused, with an idea of what I want to get out of social media. So I find new pages of interest, and unfollow those who no longer post things I care about. Which is how social media should be used, in my opinion…as a way of getting information you want/need and not a way to incite riots or share fake news about some kid who just wants a “like” on his picture of him getting cancer treatments (most of which are also fake, by the way).
As for “friends”, that is actual people and not just pages full of memes and articles? Well…I’ve never been one to have a ton of friends online. Most people average over 1000 friends/followers on social media…I tend to have less than 10% of that. If I don’t know you in real life, and you actually are someone who posts things I want to see…then we aren’t friends online. And if you try to sell me something, convert me, or attack anyone, I will hit that unfriend button so fast…heck, I’m not even connected with my own family online because of the crap they kept posting. It makes for better familial relationships when I don’t have to know how many “Melania Trump is a saint for putting up with all you stupid Democrats” memes and articles my aunt posts (true story). We were family before Facebook started, and we will still be Facebook if/when Facebook ends. So you do you, I’ll do me, and we just won’t talk about it at the next family reunion.
So as the new year gets under way (first week down, fifty-one more to go!), I’m happy with my less-involving role on social media and look forward to making it the most efficient thing possible. Streamlining your social media may not sound like a great resolution, but I promise you it’s worth the effort for the time, energy and mental space it frees up. So give it a try, and in the meantime, I’ll see you on the ‘gram. Maybe. If I remember to check it that day. 😉