I saw many people make new year resolutions that they were going to delete their Facebook, Instagram or Twitter accounts as the said sites were wasting their valuable time. WhatsApp pings were like the Sirens calling out to their inner Odysseus. According to them they could’ve had been more ‘successful’ or ‘productive’ or whatever if they had not wasted their time flicking through duckfaces.
The argument is reasonable. No one should waste their work time. But does it mean that you should delete your account? Does it mean that you should wipe out every last shred of your existence on those naughty social networks? Now that is just plain stupid. It is like burning down your entire house because mosquitoes bother you in your bedroom. Would it get rid of the pests? Absolutely. So did you do it? Yes? Great. Now you are homeless.
The thing about Facebook or Twitter is they are built around you. If you like and share more and more stuff they give you new stuff to like and share. If you don’t want cats dancing in your news feed stop liking posts of their brothers playing a piano.
Inspite of what they say, social network addiction isn’t really the same as..say alcohol addiction. In the case of social networks you have more control on yourself. No matter how funny the video is or how addicted you have become; you won’t watch it if someone tells you not to. That cannot be said about an alcoholic. He is a slave of his desires. He cannot control his urges. But you can.
So why do we do it? Because it is easy. It is easy to push your guilty feelings onto something. It takes the burden off your mind. It feels good to finally get do something about that nagging feeling of defeat. It lets you be in charge. When you hit that delete button it feels like the reason for your failures is being flushed away. Now who doesn’t like that?
You keep on deleting accounts every time you fall until the point you realize you have run out of accounts. And it hurts. It hurts because you have lost the softest punching bag. This is when you realize that those websites weren’t distracting you. You were letting yourself be. If you are spending 10 hours on Facebook daily the problem lies with you not Facebook.
Don’t delete. The solution is scale down. Uninstall the apps. Don’t stop using the service. Get rid of the tag alongs. The notifications will not bother you. Use Facebook and Twitter on your computer. That way you get to log in only when you decide to, unlike being pulled away by that notification in the dropdown menu of your phone.
WhatsApp spamming you? How about stopping those ‘Good morning’ newsletters and muting groups? How on earth will deleting it solve anything? It will complicate your life at best. Sure, you will have more time. But that won’t matter next to the time lost in finding alternatives for communication.
Do your job. You are responsible for your life. If it is a mess it’s your mess. These social networks are here to make your life entertaining. Stop turning them into a replacement for your life just because things look more controllable.