The mental noise stirred up by social media is deafening – so deafening we can’t hear ourselves think. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest are all blaring in our ears and the words they are screaming are “Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!” Every one of those sites wants our attention and that means our focus is divided in at least five different digital-based ways throughout the day. Add to that the attention we need for our jobs and our families that doesn’t leave much time for us to think or catch our mental breath. It certainly doesn’t leave much time for ourselves, or more importantly, God.
Last week I found myself caught up in scrolling too much. I scrolled this site and that site and flipped from this app to that app. Throw in some family, and other, life stresses and my brain was practically buzzing by the end of the week, and not in a good way. My thoughts were flitting from one quandary to the next, every few moments. It was like I was turning the channels on the TV or flipping through YouTube videos, only it was my panicked thoughts.
Sitting in the bathtub in a near panic attack from the inability to focus on one thought at a time, I knew what I had to do. I picked up my phone and started deleting apps. I deactivated Facebook, took Instagram off my phone (Facebook hasn’t been on my phone for over a year) and then slid the phone far away from me and picked up a book.
My brain is a jumbled mess on speed even without social media. Throw in a thousand photos or articles at me a day about God knows what, and my brain overloads and eventually shuts down, sending me to a corner, hyperventilating and repeating “There’s nothing like silence” over and over again. Honestly, our brains weren’t made for social media. Our brain can’t comprehend so much information being shoved at it at one time.
When I first started all this social media nonsense, I could handle a few hours of it a day before my brain filter broke and I had to log off. Eventually, I could only be on a couple hours a day and then it was an hour and now I can barely handle five minutes (some days much, much less) before I simply log back off again. Everyone has an opinion and I’m tired of having to muster up the mental energy to either agree or disagree with that opinion. So often I can’t even manage to care what someone else is thinking about or doing, let alone care what hundreds of people think about an issue.
Detoxing from social media helps my mental health immensely, but it also increases my creativity and productivity. Imagine what we could all accomplish if we turned over our phones and computers more often – or at least silenced the social media monster.