This mindless scrolling through your feed. I’m sure most of you recognize this. I often find myself opening Twitter or Facebook, without really realizing it. I scroll through my feed and see the same things I already saw once, twice or more. I know that I have this need to keep my brain busy. This is very strange for being hypersensitive to stimuli, but somehow I want to always be reading, watching or listening to something. So I open Twitter. I read people’s tweets, reply, write, then delete because I figure it’s not worth replying. I will be watching a movie or a show on TV or YouTube and simultaneously be scrolling through my Facebook feed, liking pictures. What’s the purpose? Why does my brain always need this distraction? I need more time than the average person to recharge my internal battery but I feel like I don’t make the most out of my alone-time.
90 Days Without Facebook
Years ago I deleted Facebook for the first time since I got an account back in 2008. I did this because it started to consume me. The mindless scrolling. I logged off, changed my profile picture to let everyone know I wasn’t going to be on Facebook for 3 months. I didn’t think I would make it, but I did. And it was easy and eye-opening. I realized how Facebook is not essential, it is something to keep up to date with people. A very mild form of entertainment. When I logged back in, the need to read what everyone was doing was gone.
Be mindful of what you see
But throughout the months and years that followed I realized I fell back into this hole of just mindless scrolling through my feed. Add to this the surge of internet discussions and arguments about presidents, social justice issues, religion, equality, etcetera. I was arguing with people I didn’t know and it made me angry. I didn’t want to be angry all the time. So I decided to minimize my social media. I unfollowed people on Twitter who tweeted a lot of negativity. Who posted tweets that triggered me to be upset, angry or urged me to argue my point. I also muted people, muted certain words and blocked the real bad stuff. I started following people who tweet positive things.
I did the same for Facebook. I unfriended some people who didn’t add anything to my life, but I also unfollowed everybody on Facebook except maybe 10 people, positive people. This meant I didn’t see anything in my feed about any of my Facebook friends. If I really missed someone in my feed, I would follow them again. But so far, I have to tell you, it is great. I don’t need to see what everyone is liking or commenting or posting. It’s just clutter. If I notice someone in my feed that irritates me on a regular basis, I unfollow. It’s not a big deal. I did the same with Instagram. I regularly unfollow accounts that don’t add anything to my daily life.
Purpose of social media
I no longer use social media as a mild form of entertainment or as something to pass the time with. I only allow things in my feed that really make me smile and feel good on a daily basis. It needs to be good entertainment, things that make me happy. Because let’s be honest, we like checking social media every day. So why not make sure it is positive? If I want to read the news, I can go look for it. Your feed has a bigger impact on your daily happiness than you think. It may all be subliminal, but that is potentially the most dangerous influence on your mind. Fill your feed with good stuff!
I deleted Facebook and Twitter off my phone, because that’s the device I have with my all the time. And it is the device I grab most easily to do some mindless scrolling. Also before bed. Now that I no longer have those social media on my phone, I can’t check it anywhere, anytime. I will only check Twitter and Facebook when I am on my laptop or iPad. When my laptop is switched off and I am watching something or reading something, I no longer get distracted by social media. I can focus on what I am doing and enjoy it. I have more time for doing things that influence my mind and soul in a positive way. Social media no longer fills my brain with useless information is a big relief and I can only recommend it!