Social media detox: Why I've cut Facebook from my phone
One of the best things I have done in recent days is delete the Facebook and Messenger apps off my iPhone.
The reason for this was to limit the 'pull' and control these apps have.
I was finding that it was almost impossible to ignore the notifications and updates on Facebook and Messenger with their visual and aural alerts as to a friend liking something or requesting a banal chat.
While I am not completing a full social media detox, I felt it was necessary to limit my screen time as I was feeling that my iPhone was controlling me and not as it should be, with the human controlling the device.
Social media is addictive by its very nature. We all want to be liked, appreciated and found to be funny, attractive and witty.
This is a part of the human condition and how we are all wired.
Facebook fuels narcissism and many believe that their thousands of friends or followers represent their popularity and likeability. Unfortunately, this often does not translate into reality.
I know that even after an extensive Facebook friend cull, there would probably only be around 15 out of my 390 friends who I would classify as close friends. It's these friends (namely family) who I could trust to help out if I was faced with difficulties or dire circumstances.
The other 375 I would really only see as associates, who probably wouldn't drop a thing if I needed help.
A profile photo update requires immediate attention from all friends and followers, with many liking, loving and commenting on the attractiveness of the picture within minutes of its posting.
Funny stories, anecdotes and rhetorical questions that we would often not waste a person's time with retelling are shared, commented and reacted to on mass by our friends and followers.
Thoughts on politics are dumped into newsfeeds and sometimes controversial topics create arguments that probably wouldn't be provided with much air time outside of Facebook.
Since deleting the Facebook and Messenger apps I have been more productive in my work and studies. I have had more time to surf, run and exercise and it is liberating not having to tell the world how many minutes or kilometres were spent during my workout.
I am sleeping better and feel more energised of a morning. My iPhone battery lasts a lot longer between charges too.
It's nice to be able to make eye contact with people in the street and to sit at a café and people watch, as opposed to posting photos of my food.
Eye contact is powerful and in recent days I have noticed that many people have very beautiful eyes, which when gazed into can provide an interesting glimpse into their soul.
It makes me sad to think that many miss flirtatious glances as their eyes are firmly fixed, staring at their screens.
Perhaps I am becoming more cynical with age, but I think a break from social media would do everyone the world of good.