Sunday, 14 July 2013

Week 29: I check you once, I check you twice, I check you many, many times.

Ah, Facebook. How obsessed with you I have become. It never used to be this way, but lately I find myself drawn to you in what can only be described as an obsessive way. I hold my shiny black smart phone in my hands and you beckon me with your little blue and white logo. You call out: 'check me! check me!'. I oblige. Then you do it again and again and again.


Now, let me make one thing perfectly clear - I don't have anything against Facebook specifically or social media in general. Quite the opposite in fact. I think they're great. A brilliant way to share things with friends; a place to learn, laugh, challenge; a forum for community of a very modern kind. What's not to love? Well, I can think of one thing ... that nagging urge to check in with what's going on on Facebook. All. The. Time.

I used to check in once a day. Then it just grew and grew until it got to the point where I'd be embarrassed to count the number of times I check, and even more embarrassed to report that number here. It seems so innocent - just a quick press of the finger on a simple icon, a little scroll through new stories, a read of messages. Fine. Nothing wrong with that. Until, that is, the urge beckons you over and over again in a relatively short space of time.

I'm kind of the same with emails. A quick check to see if there's anything new. But even if there is, rarely do I have the time or space to reply to them then and there, so what's the point of checking?!

I have no desire to 'switch off' completely - absolutely not. Social media and email are a part of our world. I like them. A lot. What I am going to do is start ignoring that little voice every time it whispers (or shouts, actually): 'CHECK ME!!!' I'm going to cut back, use some self control. Because the fact of the matter is, I have plenty of things to attend to away from the screen. My son for one.

How do I know how much is too much (Facebook and email checking that is)? Well, I think I'll just focus for now on resisting the urge to check every single time it arises. And, I'm only going to check my emails when I have the intention of replying. That's a good start!

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