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Andy Sullivan: Against the Grain

Most everyone has added something to their repertoire during this time of Covid.  There is also something to be said for subtracting things that, let’s face it, just aren’t working for you anymore.  Whether it be a relationship, or, for the purposes of this article, social media.

I began my original Facebook journey about 20 years ago, give or take.  I was on it for a long time, maybe a decade, before I decided to deactivate my account.  I was out of the game several years until I decided to make my return.  Why did I decide to make my return? As I recall, my fellow senior class officers and I were planning for our 10 year reunion.  I had just left Facebook for the first time months before that.  That was kind of the catalyst that maybe I should get back into it.  Let’s face it, if you don’t have phone numbers, social media is your next logical place to turn for getting in touch with people about a reunion. 

Fast-forward to post-reunion.  I posted the pics and would decide to stay on Facebook for what turned out to be years after the reunion.  It eventually got old for me, though.  Sure, my friends were still on but there comes a point that you must take stock of things.  You have to do what is best for you personally.  I’ll let you in on a little secret: sometimes, social media is not such a good thing.  Shocker, I know.  As the great tv detective Adrian Monk would always say before solving a case, here’s what happened.

I’d been getting disenfranchised with Facebook like I’d done before.  Sure, I’d take a break for about a day or so and come back but that wasn’t doing the trick.  I was on the treadmill one morning and, I kid you not, about 30 minutes into my 60 minute run I just said “that’s it.  I’m quitting Facebook”.  When I got finished with my run and had cooled off sufficiently, I went upstairs, got my iPad, went into Facebook and deleted my account.  No pomp and circumstance, no nothing.  I just did it.  And I kid you not, my mood immediately got better.  I can say with 100% certainty that I won’t go back.

To sum up, if you’re wondering about what to do to improve your mental health, which I think everyone is during these unprecedented times, take a look at your digital footprint.  What do you put out there? Do you really want it out there? And perhaps most importantly: what do you get in return?



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