You are addicted to social media.
You don’t want to admit it, but you are.
You check Facebook (or Twitter or Instagram or [insert favorite social network here]) all the time.
- You browse Facebook while in line at Starbucks.
- You look at Facebook the 10 minutes before you go to bed and the 10 minutes immediately after you wake up in the morning.
- You check Facebook while driving … when your car is stopped in traffic (sometimes while you are driving on the freeway).
- You look at your Facebook feed while you are in the bathroom, often while on the toilet (or standing up peeing).
- You are busy posting pictures on Facebook while your children are
askingbegging for your attention.
- You steal a few glances at Facebook between meetings.
- You stop during your run to look at your Facebook feed.
- You missed most of the presentation because your face was buried in your phone checking Facebook.
- You spot yourself in the background of pictures with your head looking down … at your device (likely scrolling through Facebook).
Does this sound like you?
Every single one of those examples above are things I’ve done. And that’s just a short list off the top of my head.
All of that changed for me a few months ago, on October 13, 2014. That was the day I finally admitted I had a problem. As much as I fought it, as much as I said “Nope, not me”, I finally came to grips with the fact that I was addicted to social media.
If I’m being honest with myself, I’m still addicted to social media — I just have it more “in check” right now.
[I am working on a longer, much more detailed post about social media addiction. Stay tuned later this month.]
What Changed On October 13, 2014?
On October 13, 2014, I deleted Facebook (and Twitter and Instagram) from my phone. See the before (top) and after (bottom) picture of my iPhone home screen above. Thanks to a few taps on my phone, I forced myself to change my (addictive) habits. Just like that, I became more present … more in the moment. Just like that I was looking other human beings in the eye again.
Was it tough? Kinda.
Was it worth it? Of course.
Would I do it all over again if I had the chance? HELL YEAH.
So many of you are like me. You are addicted to social media. I know it. And I think if you are honest with yourself, you know it too. There are countless published studies that cover social media addiction. There is a boatload of data showing the endorphin rush we get when we see a notification on our phone … when we notice someone has “liked” or commented on one of our posts. It’s crazy, but it’s true.
Deleting Facebook (and Instagram and Twitter) from my iPhone was the first step to curbing my social media addiction. It’s certainly not the last, but it’s a start. I equate removing social media apps from your phone to taking all of the beer out of your fridge if you are an alcoholic. It doesn’t mean you can’t get beer other places (or check Facebook on your laptop), but it sure does make it harder to grab a beer (or check Facebook on the road).
So here is my challenge to you:
Delete the Facebook app from your mobile device now. Immediately. Stop reading this post and go do it.
And while you are at it, delete all other social media apps that are impeding your ability to be present, to be productive. For some of you that is Twitter. Others, Instagram or Path or whatever. Delete. Delete. Delete.
If When you delete the Facebook app from your iPhone, leave a comment below. Include a picture (if possible) of your home screen sans social media app(s) – like the one I did at the top of the post. You can also tweet the world telling them you did it!
It’s time you not only admit you are addicted to social media, but to also take the first — and very important — step to changing your behavior.
UPDATE: Thanks to my buddy (and fellow Deleted-Facebook-App-From-iPhone), Tim Hayden for sharing this awesome blog post (with killer infographic) with me: Be More Productive by Beating Your Facebook Addiction [Infographic]