Imagine it’s the year 2000. You’re a freelance writer and you work for every major corporation on the block.
A time machine (a TARDIS for you nerds out there), appears in your home office and out steps me. Before you grab your Louisville Slugger, I hand you a special device that both acts as a cell phone and a high-powered PDA (personal data assistant for those who can’t remember).
This is before the advent of Facebook, so all you can do with the device is access e-mail, basic early aughts internet, messaging, texts, your calendar, and your Rolodex. It’s basically your cell phone, your iPod, your pocket calendar, and your computer and it fits in your pocket.
Your productivity soars. You’re no longer missing appointments and deadlines. You’re able to work on the go (you can tether this thing to your laptop? WTF?!). And you won’t ever forget a contact number or the name of your client.
Fast forward to 2019. That same productivity booster I gave you in 2000 is now a horrible time sink.
Very little has changed about the device. All the same productivity features are there in your pocket. But one crucial difference has sucked your attention and wasted all your time.
Social media. Principally Facebook.
Even when you’re not on social media, you’re constantly thinking about that thing you posted about and who might have liked it or hated it. Your productivity sank to dismal levels. You almost wish you could go back to before I gave you the device, to the good old days when life was simple.
Don’t think this is true? This experience is pretty common (well, not the time traveling…yet). Here’s why I deleted my Facebook app and why you should too.
1. We Are All Time Wasters Now
Facebook isn’t social media as much as it is entertainment media. How much actual socializing do you do on Facebook? Does laughing at a meme count as social? I really doubt it.
Teens spend nine hours a day on social media. That’s more time than people spent watching TV in the 90s.
The average person spends only two hours a day actually on social media. If you extrapolate that over a lifetime, that’s over five years of life wasted on empty likes and laughs. That’s five years you’re giving to Zuckerberg and the like so that they can line their pockets.
And how much is social media distracting you from what you really should be concentrating on? Your business, your family, your precious life.
Instead of clicking on some useful link, learning about how to hone your SEO skills or increasing your marketing knowledge, you’re laughing at the latest cat video. What is your life, really?
2. The Conversation
I recall the moment I woke up. My wife told me about her coworker who still doesn’t have a smart phone.
We both said, “how does he do that?” And then I started thinking about what it would be like to abandon my smart phone.
The Things I’d Carry
I’d have to start carrying a digital camera and a pocket calendar. I’d need an iPod or a portable CD player or a Walkman. I’d need to buy a calculator (or dig out my old calculator watch).
And where in the world would I find physical maps? I don’t even know anymore. Can you even print out maps on Mapquest.com still? (I don’t even know if my printer still works…)
If I wanted to play games on the go, I’d have to find a GameBoy of some sort. I’d need to dig out my old Maglite and replace the batteries.
As I made a mental list, I realized just how effing powerful this device in my pocket really was.
I began to cringe. Why? Because the thing I principally used this device that’s more powerful than the computer used on the Apollo space missions was entertainment. More specifically, Facebook.
I then made a pact with myself. I’d do the hard thing. I’d delete
I did it. Now my device is a PDA with cell-phone capabilities. And my life is sooo much better.
Now, instead of grabbing my cell phone when I wake up and mindlessly scrolling and laughing, I’m meditating. Instead of thinking about the post I just created, my mind is free to be creative and productive.
Free your mind. Delete your Facebook app. Use technology responsibly.