Most of my past new year resolutions had to do with exercise and food. Not this year. My 2023 resolution is to limit time on social media.
While scrolling, time stood still and so did I. I didn’t notice how it consumed me until my husband approached asking, “Are you still online? It’s been an hour,” that I realized I was spending so much of my life staring at a screen. I anticipated the next human visual food pellet like one of Pavlov’s dogs trained to respond to a stimulus. It was entertaining and I allowed it to keep drawing me in.
On TikTok, I scrolled through funny animal and people videos. Twitter made me angry at everything with so many people venting without proposing solutions. I resolved to stop this habit, to limit my online time. It wasn’t easy I discovered. Maybe I needed parental controls because I didn’t appear to have any of my own.
I’m not particularly tech savvy so I don’t understand how I was hooked by some social media. Instagram didn’t have that effect on me. Is it who I chose to follow? Was I being manipulated by the algorithm, whatever that is? I don’t know. But I do know it was hard to stop because it was entertaining. I voluntarily entered a social media bubble where my life disappeared for a while. That wasn’t my intention but that was the result.
These days I’m aware of my vulnerability but I’m consciously limiting my exposure not mindlessly scrolling. I’m not sure I’m spending my time any more productively overall, but I am more present, more focused and much less angry. Instead, I’m talking to my husband and paying more attention to my pets. They’re not as consistently funny as the TikTok videos but I get real world snuggles from all of them.
It’s a new year. With this newly available time, I’ve resolved to explore a new art class in person and to invite more friends and neighbors over for coffee. Instead of disappearing in the virtual world, I’m resurfacing in the real one.
Finding new ways to spend my time,