Why Quitting Facebook And Instagram Made Me Happier

I’m Christina Farr. I’m a technology
reporter with CNBC and in my job I use a lot of social media, especially LinkedIn
and Twitter. But in my personal life, I was all over Facebook and Instagram. It was just getting a little bit out of control. So with everything going on in the news,
with Facebook and all these privacy scandals, it was a ready top of mind for
me that I should take break. And I approached my boyfriend about this in
the summer and we decided actually that we would do it together. We deleted
Facebook and Instagram from our phones and haven’t logged in since. When I first
got off social media, I found myself just going to browser’s randomly throughout
the day and sometimes I would even just type in the letter F, which was just
bizarre because I had no intention really of ever being on Facebook. But it
was this this programmed behavior. But it only really took me two weeks before I
found myself letting go of the urg turn to social media during my downtime.
But we did have this weird moment on social media when my boyfriend and I
were traveling the summer in Greece and Turkey. So we went to this island called
Santorini, which is really beautiful and it’s famous for its sunsets. And around
has 6 or 7, we just saw thrones of people kind of waiting to capture the
perfect selfie. They all had their smartphones out and finally when the
sunset hit, I think we were sort of alone and really just sort of enjoying it without needing to see it through it lens. So without the pressure to craft
the perfect Instagram post, we ended up taking a lot fewer photos on this
vacation and just being more present in what we were doing. But there were a few
people that we wanted to connect with. So we texted them a couple pictures and we just said thinking of you we missed you and got back some really sweet responses. And then when we got home we took a collection and we turned it into a photo
album just for us. For me, it was just a really positive experience to take a
break from social media. When I would be on Facebook and Instagram all the time, I
just would constantly see these amazing vacation pictures and people getting
married and having babies and just somehow doing all of that and excelling
in their careers and it just always felt like I was falling behind. Without the
constant stream of updates about my friends, I find myself feeling less
anxious about my own life. And I’ve gotten better at just relaxing in those
moments where I would have been looking at Instagram. So now I’ll look out the
window, I’ll make like eye contacts and smile at someone. But social media sites haven’t given up on me. I’ve been getting just so many annoying emails from Facebook telling me that some random person has liked some
other random person status and they’ve been coming and I’m more frequently than longer I’ve been off. So I think it’s just coming across as a bit desperate.
However, there are a few drawbacks to being off of these apps. One is that I
almost certainly missed a few events just not seeing them on Facebook. And I
may have missed a few life moments from people that I do care about but I’m just
not that close with anymore. But overall this has just been a great break for me.
So good in fact that I might never get back on Facebook or Instagram. But if I
did start using social media again, I would make sure that I wasn’t doing any
of this infinite scrolling behavior and maybe just check once or twice a week.
Ultimately, I want to be in control of how I use social media and I don’t want
social media to control me. you you

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