It had been coming for a while, but this summer I finally decided I needed to delete social media from my iPhone to maintain my sanity. Here’s why I deleted Facebook and Twitter, and here are 3 reasons why you should, too.
Why I Deleted Social Media from my iPhone
Over the past several years, I’d found that being connected online increased the worry and stress in my life. It’s now been 3 months since I made my smart phone dumber by deleting the Facebook and Twitter apps, and here are 3 reasons I’m glad I did.
Reason #1: I Have Less Anger and Anxiety
Facebook and Twitter are overrun with keyboard cops and their self-righteous indignation, and the sad thing is that the self-righteous indignation of other people produced self-righteous indignation in me, directed at them. Anger and self-righteousness come naturally to me: I don’t need social media’s help to feel superior to the people who feel superior. Without a constant stream of social media outrage at my fingertips, I have less anger and more peace.
Facebook in particular also produces comparison in its users: you are constantly thinking, “I wish I had that or looked like that.” Facebook too often caused me to break the 10th commandment (that’s the one about coveting, for all you biblical illiterates), and without Facebook on my phone I have less of the anxiety that materialism and jealousy and lust produce in my heart.
I’m not withdrawn from the world, nor am I naive: I read the paper and catch the news every day. But, there is something about the way social media delivers information that caused me to feel a constant low level of anxiety. Since deleting Facebook and Twitter from my phone, I experience much less anxiety and worry.
Reason #2: I Have More Focus
When Facebook and Twitter were a fingertip away, I found myself constantly checking and looking at those apps. The irresistible allure of seeing what was happening made it very difficult for me to focus 0n the things that matter. Since deleting social media from my iPhone, I find that I’m less distracted and more focused.
And when it comes to prayer there is no question: social media is the enemy. Distracted and unfocused prayer is no prayer at all.
Reason #3: I Have More Time
Everybody’s busy, but few people are productive. I found that the constant scrolling and checking and commenting and retweeting that social media encourages meant that I was becoming more and more unproductive. Since deleting Facebook and Twitter from my phone, I’ve found that I have more time to get things done. (For example, I’ve read more books since deleting social media, and reading is an activity that gives me peace and helps me become a better leader and preacher.)
I still have Facebook and Twitter accounts, but to access them I have to use my laptop, which means, because it takes more effort to login, I’m much less likely to mindlessly scroll through them. Will I keep my phone social-media-free forever? I don’t know. But, I can honestly say making my smart phone dumber has probably made me smarter.
What about you? Are you willing to try it?