The Social Media Rabbit Hole (Or, the Real Reason I Don't Own a Smart Phone)
By AmandaBum on October 09, 2013
I used to pride myself on being one of the last people in my friend group to have a smart phone. I claimed to "not care" about Facebook, and I thought Twitter was stupid. I sat high on my self-created pedestal for a long time, lording over my social media-obsessed peers while frowning on their addiction to the internet and all the worldly distractions it offered.
I was the last pure, unsoiled being, and I was proud of it. Or, at least that's what I told myself when I wrote this post.
But behind my righteous facade, a darkness was growing.
I got a Twitter, and it crept nearer. I made a second twitter for my editor account (tweeting all things bookish), and the darkness loomed. Then I made a Facebook page for The Lady Okie blog, started up another blog where I post editing and writing tips twice a week (amanadabumgarner.com), and the darkness moved ever closer.
Now I am convinced that the only thing saving me from disappearing completely down the social media rabbit hole is the fact that I still don't have a smart phone. This is also the reason that I don't plan on getting one any time soon.
It's not because I don't want one.
It's not because I'm too good for it.
It's not really because I don't want to pay for the data plan. (Although it kind of is.)
It's not because they're evil.
It's because I'm obsessed.
Right now while I'm typing this I'm also thinking about how I haven't checked my Twitter in five minutes. I probably have some interactions to respond to! People "favoriting" my hilarious tweets! People retweeting my hilarious tweets! People tweeting me to tell me I'm hilarious!
I'm being a little dramatic, of course, but not really. The darkness is here. Can you feel it? Because I can, and I don't like it. I wasn't until I read this blog post that it all came together for me.
If I waste even 5 minutes on unnecessary social media per day, I will be wasting 30.4 hours a year, which is just over 1 DAY of my life per year. And you know what? I waste well more than 5 minutes a day, so that number is even higher. Major sad face.
The blog post I mentioned asked this question: What do you do when you get free time? She talked about how instead of wasting time on social media, she's trying to be more intentional about the way she spends her free time. The post included a quote saying that the greatest waste is getting an hour of unexpected free time and doing nothing with it. Yet I do this so often. And I am convinced it would be WORSE if I had the ability to carry the Internet with me in my pocket.
(Food for thought: This article I read last week about whether or not smart phones are killing our memories.)
So anyway, that's the real reason I don't have a smart phone. I'm not shaking my finger at those who have one. I know they can be useful, and the iphone camera is awesome. I don't even know how to take a picture with my phone, which isn't helpful when you're at the mall shopping by yourself and want to text a picture to your best friend for a second opinion.
Still, I just know that it would be so easy for me to become one of those people who can't live without it. And I want to be able to stand in line at Walmart or wait at a stoplight with just my own thoughts to keep me company and not feel the urge to check Instagram every 2 seconds. Because I totally would. I hear Instagram is loads of fun. I mean, who doesn't want to take pictures of their lunch and post it for the world to see?
Here's the truth: I have enough trouble as it is. At this point, I'm barely keeping my head above the social media rabbit hole. A smart phone would put me over the edge.
[For another great read: Technology and Being Intentional]
If you have a smart phone (so, basically everyone reading this), I'd love to hear how you manage not being obsessed with social media. Would you ever consider going back to a "regular" phone?
Also.... (the really important question) I am just being really dramatic about the whole thing?*
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