Sunday, March 5, 2017

Why I Quit Facebook!

One of the detractors we face today is social media, not because it is bad but because many of us have allowed it to consume us. I was sitting at the movie theater today when I was distracted by the glow of the cell phone in the hands of the person sitting next to me. I turned expecting to see some young person acting irresponsibly only to find an elderly woman on her Facebook account. I thought to myself, we have all lost our way. It seems even the elderly are pre-occupied with staying on top of what is going on, possessed by an unquenchable need to know.

Facebook provides the benefit of constant communication which if properly managed could be informative and productive. However, when it becomes an addiction that keeps a person glued to their mobile device, there is clearly a problem. Additionally, the debates occurring on Facebook often lack a factual foundation leading to arguments based more on opinion than reality often resulting in divisiveness between co-workers, friends, and family. Instead of Facebook bringing people together, it is often doing quite the opposite.

So with great intentionality, I decided to do something about the problem. I quit Facebook. I removed myself completely from Facebook and guess what, I survived. I also shut down most of my cellular app notifications so my cell phone isn't dictating when I should open an app. This may make me appear weird in today's world and some may even suggest I am overreacting, but just google, "apps to help you stop using apps". You will find apps like Break Free to help you stop using your mobile phone, apps like SelfControl or Freedom to help you control your use of apps, and numerous articles on why your favorite apps are designed to addict you. Not kidding.

Today, I limit my media interaction to LinkedIn which leans more towards the professional than the social and provides a positive forum to express my views. I look at it once or twice a day and that is more than enough. When I want more information about what is going on in the world, I turn on the radio and listen to the local public radio station. When I want to know more about what is happening with family or friends, I make a phone call or write a letter. Radio news, phone calls and letter writing, some old fashioned advice to go!

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