“Our life is frittered away by detail…Simplify, simplify.” – Henry Thoreau
Hi, my name is Victoria, and I’m a social media addict. You probably are, too, and just haven’t admitted it to yourself.
The rise of social networks took off when I was in high school and evolved as I did. First it was spending hours on MySpace, trying to figure out the right emo-looking profile picture to match my perfectly curated background and profile song.
Then came Facebook, which at the time was pretty sparsely populated. I poked at it but didn’t really do much with it. Over the years, I spent increasingly more time with my online friends and less with my real friends. I began to get itchy if I went more than a few hours without logging on the site, and immediately became disappointed when the red notification icon didn't appear.
I didn’t realize I was developing a problem that would take me seven years to kick.
This year, I’ve become increasingly aware of where I can simplify my life and make every moment count. When it came time to cut things out, I knew my addiction to my cell phone (which is where most of my Facebooking occurs) needed to go first.
So to get an idea of how bad my habit was, I downloaded an app called QualityTime that tracks time spent on your cell phone, as well as time spent on each app. It then compiles a weekly report of your usage.
After tracking for a few weeks, I looked at my report—and was staggered to see that, in a single week, I had spent over 25 hours on my cell phone. And most of those were on social media.
Over one day spent looking at status updates. Over one day spent ignoring my family and friends. Over one full day spent letting my goals and dreams gather dust.
Without another thought, I embarked upon a social media detox. For one week, I didn’t touch Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, or Buzzfeed—deleted the apps from my phone and removed the bookmarks on my computer.
Let me tell you about last week:
When the hiatus officially ended today, I deleted my Facebook account, over seven years after starting it.
It was that boyfriend that was terrible for me, but was too scared to break up with. And it was so much harder to end that relationship than it should have been.
But let me tell you, I don’t have one ounce of regret.
The older I get, the more I realize the importance of every second. We only get one shot at life. These minutes and seconds are all you get.
Make sure you’re spending your precious time in a way that makes you happy.
Writer, editor, and storyteller living in the Twin Cities.