Social Media Detox

When I was first diagnosed with M.E., it was the mid-eighties and I was a young girl. There were no mobile phones and although there were home computers (we had an Acorn Electron and an Atari console), there was no email or social media. I was essentially house-bound with only books and daytime TV for company (aside from my family, of course). It was a lonely existence. I think this explains my attachment (or call it dependency) on Social Media – people on tap! 

I’ve realised that Social Media (mainly Facebook; Twitter less so) had begun to monopolise my day. I was worried that I would miss out on something and kept reaching for my phone to check my notifications. Or, if I’d logged on to my laptop, I’d invariably forget about what I wanted to do and find myself immersed in friends’ worlds. There were the things you wanted to see but sometimes people would share things that might feed a particular anxiety that I have or you might see things that are upsetting (missing people, missing dogs and so on). Facebook is a little like The Truman Show – millions of stories being played out in realtime. It started to feel like Too Much. I was almost more invested in other people’s stories than my own life – it was easier. 

On Sunday, I decided to take a break, just to see if I could. It’s unnerving, deliberately isolating myself again, but it feels necessary. It feels freeing but I still have the feeling that I’ll be missing things. And even after one day, I’ve seen a difference: yesterday I got a job done in the house that I’ve wanted to do for months. Yes, the TV was on and you could call that a distraction but it doesn’t draw you in like Social Media does. Today, I did some admin that had a deadline and I’ve been doing my Creative Writing homework without clicking across to Facebook and losing myself for several hours. I have given myself some time. Next week, I’m going to start working on my novel again (after I clear some more things from my To Do list).

Why now? I needed to conserve some energy, as my husband has a big birthday this month and we have a lot of things planned (nothing most people would call big, but any commitment is big to someone with an unpredictable condition like ME). What I’m missing most is a place to put the comments and thoughts I would usually post, so my blog will have to be a kind of diary for the next month or so. It will be interesting to see how long I can keep this up. Hopefully, long enough to get Fresh Heir completed.