Last month, in my writing piece related to Inauguration Day, I suggested, as others have done, that people intentionally limit their social media consumption during this particularly toxic period in American history. Not long after that I took my own advice and stayed off of Facebook for an entire week. Twitter and Instagram were not proving as corrosive by comparison, so I was still regularly checking on them, but the normal five to ten minutes I would spend each day on Facebook were redirected to other concerns. In doing this, I was reminded of the fact that I got along just fine before Facebook was a thing, and if it were to disappear tomorrow it would be weird for a few days, but after that I’d hardly notice it. Don’t get me wrong, social media certainly has its uses, but it’s not the be-all, end-all, of our modern lives.
A week after logging off, I logged back on to Facebook and found the social media world much as I had left it. My more politically active friends were still overloading my timeline with every last offense committed by the Trump administration, my friends with spouses and children were still sharing amusing stories from their families, and others were posting random things from across the web. I quickly perused my timeline, sent a message to a friend, and then logged back out. I had gone a week without Facebook and was none the worse for it.