Cutting the Cord

Day 1:

Removed Instagram, Facebook, and the game from my phone. Deactivated Facebook so that I wouldn't be tempted to check it via browser. Delighted to find that Messenger still works; it's the feature I was most concerned about losing. Scrolled Twitter periodically, but since I reduced the number of accounts I follow it doesn't take long to see what I've missed.

Most notable difference was at home in the evening. Instead of checking out to play the game and catch up on social media feeds, I had three actual phone conversations and folded laundry. I read more before going to bed.

Confession: when I got online for a task, I quickly scrolled through Instagram.

Day 2:
Is it crazy to think I slept better because I didn't look at my phone for several hours before bedtime? Whatever the reason, I woke up feeling refreshed. I wasn't as rushed this morning as I usually am, probably because I didn't look at my phone until I received a text. Was able to have another phone conversation.

Day 3:
Another night of deep sleep. I don't miss Facebook as much as I thought I would, but I do find myself antsy for a "phone fix". I'm surprised at how many times I reach for it, which makes me glad I deactivated Facebook. I miss connecting with some people, and I wonder what's going on with them, but I've reached out in other ways. I've sent more texts and emails in the past 3 days than I have in quite a while.

Day 10:
Into the double digits without Facebook or the game. I can't say the same about Instagram. I've scrolled through periodically on my desktop. I'm entertaining the idea of reinstalling the app on my phone. I don't follow that many accounts, and I do miss the beautiful photography. I don't miss the game at all. I'm pretty sure I've only thought about playing it a time or two. I miss Facebook a little more, but not enough to consider reactivating my account, at least not at this point. I actually like not knowing what's going on in so many people's lives. It's freeing. Today I was telling someone that our mutual friends had moved. She asked how I keep up with everything, and my answer wasn't Facebook! I actually knew about it from a live conversation with someone else. For some reason I can't explain, that felt like a victory to me. Like I'm accomplishing my goal of being more present in life, less present in the virtual reality of social media.

Will this experiment have any long-term effects? Will I make it a permanent way of life? It's too soon to tell, but I'm starting to wonder why I didn't cut the cord before now.

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