My Social Media Diet
Mini Me had an extra credit school assignment during the past few weeks. During the first week, she was supposed to track how much time she spends on social media. During the second week, she was supposed to abstain from all social media. She signed a contract of intent, and parents' participation was optional. I signed Mr. Bookworm up. And I hesitated for myself, mostly because I wanted to still post on Instagram for the blog etc.
So I proposed a solution: I'd stay off all social media, with the exception of 10-15 min a day of Instagram. This is a true diet, in my opinion, because I could avoid being 'sucked in' and maybe utilize more time to write.
The Rules: sixth graders cannot go on any social media (Instagram, SnapChat, Facebook, Twitter, youTube etc). In addition, they cannot stream any videos on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon etc, but they ARE allowed to watch something on a shared device if they were watching with an adult. (AKA they would not take away family movie night or family bonding.) The sixth graders also cannot text unless to/with an adult, but they are allowed to make phone calls. In other words, they could have the same childhood as me for a week, with the added bonus of being able to stream things with family involvement.
No problem for Mini Me. She's not on any social media platform. She hardly texts. She doesn't stream things, but she might watch youTube (usually jointly in our living room) and she definitely researches things. I told her she couldn't post things on a certain fanfiction site either because that involves interaction. [Side note: she shouldn't technically be on social media yet as she's not yet 13.]
I had a harder time.
This is how it went:
Saturday: I spent maybe 10-15 minutes on Instagram. I was dying to post pics of us at Hamilton. :D I opened and shut IG many times because I forgot my 'diet', but since I shut it right away, I think those times don't count. Think of peering into the refrigerator at the chocolate cake, but then walking away without eating it. I didn't even look up the Royal Wedding on IG!
Sunday: Similar to Saturday, but I likely opened and shut IG even more frequently. Mr. Bookworm also said I shouldn't go on a website I frequent because it's essentially message boards.
Monday: I was at work most of the day, so it should have been simple, right? But there was a bit of a downtime and I briefly went on IG. I also remembered that my friend's birthday is in May, but can't remember which day. I'm sure I can look it up on FB....but I don't. I hardly go on FB so it's not hard to avoid that one. Though I'll be late in birthday wishes for my friend.
I did sneak a peak at a few Royal wedding IG pics, including an amazing sketch by Vashti Harrison.
Tuesday: I didn't sleep well overnight as Mr. Bookworm is out of town for work. So I woke up early and then briefly updated my IG profile. And then I thought I'd research (again) agents for the picture book that Mr. Bookworm and I have been revising. So of course I somehow ended upon Ben Clanton's twitter page....and then on Shannon Hale's (as she stood up for others regarding sexual harassment and I got sucked in. But kudos to Shannon Hale for being amazing and using her platform/voice for those who cannot.) and then I ended up on Dan Santat's twitter page because I was laughing at him adopting cats and naming them Yanni and Laurel (even if he didn't really adopt them). So by that time, I was 10 min into social media by the time I figured out that I was supposed to be on a diet!
Now in my defense, I usually check into twitter every week or so, so I forgot! Then I closed my twitter window. Because I'm on a diet.
This is tougher than I thought!
Though I did get a lot more writing time in on Sunday than I usually do. And I'm halfway through the week!
Wednesday: I'll admit it: I'm really having a hard time staying off Instagram. So I may have been on it for more than 15 min yesterday. But I still convinced myself to shut it many times, thus gaining extra time to do other things. Perhaps it would have been easier to go completely off? The bright side: I haven't been spoiled with who won The Voice yet. Maybe the girls and I can watch the finale before we find out.
Mini Me caught me on IG and reminded me I'm supposed to be on a diet. I think it may have been easier if I just shut everything off.
Thursday: Doing okay off social media because I'm busy working on the blog and writing. Success! :D
Friday: Okay, I'm just ignoring the rules a bit because it's my last day of social media diet. Though I still have been consciously decreasing my time and reminding myself not to get sucked in. So I think at max I was on IG for 20-30 min if you total it up. That may sound like a lot of time, but it was in bits and pieces and I'm sure the previous week that my time averages were a lot longer.
Overall, I don't think I failed too much. Is that a double negative? At least I put more thought into shutting down IG and being aware of how much time I was on IG (meaning I actually looked at what time I opened the app and shut it down). I think it was a good week for me to contemplate and focus more on my kids and my writing and my reading.
Tell Dr. Bookworm!
Have you ever gone on a social media diet? How did it work out for you?