Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead…
To my complete shock and amazement our 12 year-old daughter, Terra announced that she wanted to delete her Facebook account and asked if I wanted to watch her do it. I had been toying with the idea of deleting mine for quite some time so when she suggested it, it felt like the right time to take action. The idea to close and delete her account was hers alone and came after watching a program about screen addiction and the effects it is having on kids on a global level. I was shocked to learn that extreme cases such as death (believe it or not there have been 23 reported deaths caused by dehydration, exhaustion and starvation), to loss of socialization skills, to just a waste of time and energy in the grand scheme of things have all been attribute to excessive screen time in young people.
We deleted our Facebook accounts together and it was a bonding experience. We both felt nervous and unsure of what the future would hold without Status Updates & News Feeds, so the final act of clicking on the “Are you sure you want to permanently delete your Facebook account?” was pretty exhilarating. We did a little celebration dance, aware that we had just pried ourselves away from the social media machine and it felt enlivening.
Terra is a brave girl. I don’t know too many kids her age that would be willing to even consider what their lives would be like without constant cyber feedback. It’s been five days now since the deletion and so far she has made no mention of missing it or wanting to reinstate it (Facebook allows 14 days in which to reactivate an account easily). I personally have no intention of re-activating mine. It feels like one less thing ‘to-do’ in my life which will pull me away from enjoying the things that matter most to me.