Last year I did two digital sabbats most months, each lasting at least 24 hours, oftentimes 48 hours or more. It’s a habit I’ve not properly carried forward into 2020, even though my need for it certainly hasn’t diminished. On the contrary.
But last night I gave myself the gift of a Social Media sabbath, checking out from Facebook and Instagram, Tinder and LinkedIn, and have now been off for 25 hours. The mindless reaching for my phone, unlocking it, swiping to my SoMe-folder on screen two, opening up Instagram, scrolling, giving a heart here and there, writing a comment or two, moving on, then Facebook, scrolling, giving a thumbs up, writing a comment or two, moving on, then Tinder, checking to see if there’s a new match or a new message, swiping left, left, left, right, left, then back to Instagram, then… on and on.
It is so mindless. Such a waste of time.
T h i s aspect of it. The almost unconscious routine-like habit of it; my inner SoMe-junkie in search of my next high. It doesn’t all have to be mindless though. The potential for connection is there, it is real. But that potential can be harnessed with much less waste of time.
Going on SoMe-sabbaths gives me the ability to witness myself and my interactions, to observe what I do, when I do, how I do, and realize that now and again, the why I do isn’t all too clear. And, so what? If I want to waste my time once in a while, so be it. My choice. My life. Sometimes, that’s what Is. And that’s fine. But I do want to be conscious of it. I want to choose to just be, letting myself be unproductive, non-effective, time-wasting, rather than feel addicted to it.
I’m quite particular about what I want to let myself be addicted to. Reading, hell yeah! Moving my body, of course. Silence and solitude, wouldn’t want to be without. But caffeine? No way. Don’t like coffee, but am seriously restrictive about tea as well, because I truly do not appreciate the headache that rears its ugly head after the fifth-day-in-a-row of having a cup or two of black or green tea. Nicotine? Nah, have never gone down that road, and alcohol is the same. I am really restrictive, and much prefer a glass of water to a glass of wine or beer which makes it very easy to not build habits around drinking.
But social media?
Huh… For me, it’s a different creature, for sure.
And I guess that’s why I am torn. I love it, and I loath it, all at once. A beast to be tamed? Or is this me trying to control me to an unhealthy degree? Should I just let myself off the hook, and scroll mindlessly to my heart’s desire without giving it another thought?