For almost a year now I have been saying to myself “Man, I really need to get off social media for a bit”. But like a drug, it kept reeling me back in and I kept making excuses as to why I couldn’t.
“I will miss updates from my gym or work groups.”
“What if somebody messages me something important that I need to respond to?”
“I will miss seeing pictures of my friends and their kiddos etc.”
“How am I going search fun events that are going on?”
“I don’t really spend THAT much time on it.”
“But I really love seeing pretty pictures and quotes!”
Truth is, none of these excuses would result in my death. Social media was a way for me to numb and distract after a hard day at work or with my kids. But like any good numbing strategy it was making me feel worse. I DO love my Instagram feed because I follow some of my favorite authors and people who spread so much insight and inspiration on their platforms. But inspiration or not, I just found myself scrolling too much at night. Not to mention, some nights my husband and I would be sitting next to each other in silence while scrolling our phones. It was getting out of hand! So we both made the decision to give it up over lent and here is what I personally took away from that 40 days.
I missed it more than I thought I would. I didn’t miss Facebook so much, don’t think I need to explain that one. But I DID miss seeing things on Instagram and missed not being able to share my random insights and thoughts and funny/cute moments with my kids.
I stopped living my life in captions. Anybody else do this? It isn’t like I post every event through my whole day, but it was like I kept thinking about captions as my day went on. Without the ability to post anything, I kind of just…lived my life and enjoyed it a lot more too. WEIRD RIGHT.
I didn’t take many pictures. This kinda bothered me. So all this time was I just taking pictures so I could share them or because my phone was in my hand? That’s stupid. I like capturing moments with my family, but sometimes I think I take too many pictures because it is too easy. Then I am stuck with 1,678 pictures that I need to somehow go through and WHO HAS TIME FOR THAT. So perhaps, just snapping a picture here and there and on special occasions is actually the way to go. The digital overwhelm of stuff to keep organized is real.
My brain felt so focused. Not at first, but after a week or two, I could feel this weird calm and focus in my head. And let me tell you, that was a weird feeling considering that April is my busiest month of the year.
Extreme Clarity: Not only did I feel focused, but I felt clear. I didn’t have this weird jumble going on in my head of different thoughts and people, because I was just focused on my life and task in front of me and that was it. It also gave me some internal answers that I really needed as I approached some big decisions on my next chapter in life.
I think if you are ever at a point of feeling overwhelmed or mentally ‘jumbled’ in your life, social media can really make that worse, even if you have the best of intentions. Don’t make excuses, I am telling you it will be worth it to just take a break if even for just a week. Tell me how it goes!