If you played close attention earlier this month, my Facebook profile disappeared.
Right before my thesis was due, I handed over the reigns of my Facebook over to my sister and started being more conscious of how I was spending time on my phone. I heard someone say recently (though, I don’t have a source for this, so if you have one, please throw it my way) that if you’re working on something and you get interrupted it takes twenty-six, YES, TWENTY-SIX, to get back into the work you were doing.
This summer, I found myself reaching for my phone too often. When I had a lot going on, rather than focus, I would instead turn to my phone so that I wouldn’t just put off whatever needed to get done, only making it take longer to get it done.
I felt myself wasting too much time. And I do not have time to waste.
I took a two step short-term approach to combatting this. First, I started deleting apps on my phone, getting it down to only one screen. Second, I deactivated my Facebook.
On the app front, I’m loving it. I have a couple of folders on my phone, but there’s no incessant swiping and I always thing twice about downloading anything new. Right now, my home screen looks like this.
The apps left on the main screen are the ones I need to check most often. I track my calories using MyFitnessPal, so it’s there. I am constantly Snapchatting my sister, my boyfriend, and my Littles, so it made the cut. The GMail app, Intercom, and Slack are all for work and I really want to be accessible, especially at the beginning. Bloglovin is a priority because I love the blogs I follow.
Everything else is tucked away in a file so that it’s not in my face and isn’t tempting me. Opening a folder to find an app is much more deliberate, so I’m not just mindlessly scrolling between screens looking for something to do.
The other thing I did, on a whim and with no prior thought, was to deactivate my Facebook. I’m an admin of three Facebook groups, so Facebook prompted me to add new admins, which I did. And at 11.30 PM one summer night, it was gone.
It. Felt. So. Good… until I started missing out on things.
I couldn’t log into my Etsy account.
I missed the invite to a friend’s birthday.
I missed information on an apartment lead.
Nonetheless, I was more freed from my phone. I didn’t have constant notifications. I didn’t look at my phone as often. I felt less tied to it, which was really nice.
I have Facebook again (and you can go like my Facebook Page HERE), after a couple of weeks. Now, though, I think I’ve found some semblance of a balance: Look closely at my phone screenshot- there’s no Facebook. I have social media notifications off for all my social media platforms (the three that are there are from GroupMe). This means that going on social media, engaging in it is a very deliberate and intentional action.
I feel so much better disconnecting like this. I should not be a slave to technology, so this is a very purposeful thing for me to be doing.
Want to keep reading on this topic? Liv over at Simply Liv is hosting a Social Media Disconnecting Challenge that you can join in on! More details here!
Have you ever tried disconnecting like this?
Emilie is an Army Wife, Data Engineer, and CrossFitter with a love for working through her thoughts in this space on the internet. She is a contributor to many open source projects including dbt, Meltano, and GitLab. She lives with her husband Casey, their son RJ, and their pup Bo in Columbus, GA.