I like to think of myself as an activist when it comes to issues of justice. However, lately I haven’t been very active at all. Instead, my summer has passed me by while I procrastinated and dithered all in the name of ‘taking a break’. I don’t want to discredit my holiday completely as I do feel a time-out from busyness is essential to endurance and maintaining momentum. Yet, there is this nagging sense that I am far too acquainted with what my friends around the world are doing – thanks to Facebook – while my summer to-do list has various items which have been neglected.
To be honest, I am too scared to calculate the amount of time I squander on social media per week. Last week I estimated that I spend one day a year just cleaning my teeth (2 min brushing each day + 2 min flossing and rinsing x 7 days a week x 52 weeks = 1456 minutes = 24 hours!!). If I had to do a similar calculation for time spent catching up on what my friends and family are having for breakfast I think I would be shocked.
Lately I have been trying to make a conscious effort to spend less time on social media and more time engaging in constructive activities. When purposefully abstaining from regular checks, it is quite confronting to realise how often I am inclined to visit Facebook or Twitter and subsequently follow links to other random webpages, images or videos. To further fuel my habit I have access to all these sites on my phone and any moment I have free while standing in a queue, sitting on the tube or waiting at a table in a restaurant, I automatically go online to see if anything dramatic has happened in my online world since I last checked twenty minutes ago. I fear my near-addiction to social media is promoting adult onset ADHD and contributing to my decline in short-term memory.
Okay, so maybe that is all a little bit dramatic but the bottom-line is that nothing good can come from wasting my time away perusing people’s hourly updates. It has become a distraction that is eating into valuable time I could be spending on things that will truly make a difference. My resolution is to allocate one day a week where I do not engage with social media at all. If someone needs to contact me there are various other means for them to do so and in reality, if it is a real emergency, Facebook is not the favoured means of communication. Hopefully my productivity levels will increase as I wean myself off of continuous status updates and focus on applying myself to tasks that count. This chick is twittering less, acting more.