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Perspective: My ever-evolving relationship with Facebook

Pixabay, Pixlr

Social media: the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.

With apologies to Homer Simpson for re-phrasing, I’ve been reevaluating my relationship with social media.

A few months ago, I removed Facebook from my phone, only checking it when I’m working on my computer. And with few exceptions, the app has stayed off.

  • I did this because I realized I was becoming tethered to it—which is what FB and other social media apps are designed to do. WE and our usage data are the product, remember that.
  • It was negatively impacting my mental health, primarily because of all the useless information, virtue signaling and other claptrap appearing in my feed.  At the same time I removed the app, I thinned out the herd of businesses, media sites and “friends” to which I was connected.  
  • It was tough at first—Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is a real thing. However, I started to notice my evenings and weekends were more pleasant. I was more focused on catching up on TV shows and movies. I was self-critical when I posted— does anyone REALLY care about the workout I just did or the meal I just ate?  NO, THEY DON’T!  
  • To be clear, I’m still a media junkie—a half dozen news sites a day and a steady diet of books, newspapers and magazines.  Staying informed DOES NOT require a visit to Facebook.
  • And, I spend more time on Instagram, a far happier place in my opinion. I follow friends, people and organizations that more closely fit my interests.  There’s little negativity and I almost always feel better after watching a cool video or seeing an interesting picture. Even when I get sucked down a rabbit hole of CrossFit videos or animal rescues or aviation stuff, I come out of it feeling good.

Like the real world, social media is an ever-evolving landscape that requires us to reimagine our place in that world.

I’m Wester Wuori and that’s my Perspective.