What started as my decision to leave Facebook eventually led to deleting all of my social media accounts, outside of the ones I use for business. There's undoubtedly a myriad of surface-level reasons that I left, but the biggest reason wasn't because of toxicity, superficiality, repetitive means, or anything like that. The reason I departed was that it was taking too much of my time out of my day. Precious time that I could be spending on other, more valuable things.

Before leaving social media, I had been running a Chrome extension that tracked my time on websites. On Facebook alone, I was spending about 8 hours per week. That's an entire work day being spent on something that I wasn't even enjoying all that much. The most disturbing part was that even to this day, six months later, I am still typing "f..a..c..e..." into my URL bar whenever I'm at my computer and have a moment of quiet/nothing to do. It has become quite evident that my addiction has burrowed itself deep into my subconscious.

So what am I doing with that extra 8+ hours? I've begun to build a weekly routine for myself of doing things that I never felt like I had time to do. I'm writing on this blog every Sunday, and I'm keeping up with my social media posts for Curious Markings, as well as writing at least two pages in my work-in-progress Curious Markings Vol. 2. I am going out of my way to do something nice for my partner and making sure I do it at least once a week. I am visiting with family/friends for a coffee/lunch visit at least 1-2 per week. I'm going to the gym once a week and doing at-home exercises once a week on top of that.

A lot of the things mentioned above have been part of an overarching effort of improving my physical and mental health, but I am confident that I would not be nearly as successful with this routine had I not cut social media off from my life. That being said, I am still on one social media platform: Reddit. 99% of the time I am on the schizophrenia subreddit. My justification is that I do not have a local community of schizophrenic people to engage with, so I instead share that part of my life with those who have the same struggles in the online space.

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Ian McKenzie

Ian McKenzie

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