Every year I donate and participate in 65 Hours of Silence for Cystic Fibrosis. Cystic Fibrosis affects 75,000 people worldwide and many people are symptomless carriers of the gene. In my family, we have lost someone to this disease and I will one day be tested to see if I am a carrier. For me, this falls around midterms and generally when my life needs a few days of solitude, so I take this as a total detox from Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. I took it a little longer this year.
Here is how the timeline progressed this year:
Night 1: Okay. Goodbye social media. This is kind of freeing. I like this. No notifications popping up, no worries about who is Snapchatting me, no mindless timewasters.
About two hours later: Oh my gosh. What do I do before bed? What am I doing with my life?
I text my roommate as I have this existential crisis….and she is on Facebook.
Morning of Day 2: Wake up….wait. I always check Facebook before I get out of bed and start my day. What do I do now? I rolled over and went back to sleep rather than contemplate this conundrum.
Mid-morning: Teaching is finished and Facebook time! SHOOT! No, no Facebook—exit the Facebook. Bad habit. Life still feels off-balance.
Nighttime: Well without social media today I went to the library, worked my two jobs, and went grocery shopping. I guess it was a successful day? Now I guess I’ll do yoga before sleep.
**Today I texted seventeen people I consider friends. I felt more pressure or had more time to connect with them, check in on them, and make weekend/future plans.
Morning: Friend texts me about a gathering happening for Halloween. She is putting it on Facebook. Without Facebook I will have no knowledge of this occurrence. UGH. How do I handle this? What. Is. Life. My classmates were even on Facebook during class….
Roommate also just published an article of hers and I REALLY want to share it since I love her and am SO proud of her. NO. Must. Wait. Until. Friday. Glad I am doing this for Awareness for Cystic Fibrosis, but oh my gosh I miss Facebook.
**Between a campus event during the night and a group meeting, I was busy. I still missed Facebook and Snapchat, but less—especially because I had on a cute fall outfit.
Morning: Don’t miss it. Woke up, practiced yoga, looked up recipes to cook and now reviewing material before breakfast and class. However, 9 hours of class today will surely change my mind…
Night: Class was easy to focus without the distraction. No mindlessness. I’ve stopped feeling the need to check at all or really to care about it.
DAY WHERE I CAN ACCESS SOCIAL MEDIA: My phone crashed after I downloaded the apps and they pinged for a looooooooooong time. It just shows a white screen and can’t seem to reset itself. So. I guess I’ll be going to the Apple Store to get them to fix it…
What did I learn? Cystic Fibrosis needs support as an “orphan” disease as it does not get the research funding of other diseases. Hopefully, I can continue to participate in this every year for awareness.
I also learned I am on Facebook a lot out of habit, like most of my generation. Facebook is such a mindless time-waster that we click on, seeing for a few minutes, clear our mind and almost relax. However, really social media isn’t always the healthiest addiction. It certainly is not a mindful approach to living. In my life, I need to make Facebook less of a habit unless I have a notification. I love my friends and I can text them whenever I need to, however, I don’t need to always be on Facebook to know what is going on in their lives. On the whole, I need to be more mindful about where I am and being fully there without needing the distraction of social media.