So last week, during my meditation, I had this sense that I was supposed to do a digital detox. A week of no social media, no Facebook, no Instagram, no LinkedIn etc.
Interestingly, the first day or so was hard, just like weaning oneself off an addiction. I had distract myself so that I wouldn’t go to the apps that were second nature to check on a daily, sometimes 7-10 times a day. YIKES!
Imagine if you did anything 7-10 times a day.
7-10 glasses of alcohol
7-10 cups of coffee
7-10…well you get the picture.
So this was really a way for me to see if I could do it.
And, I have to say – I didn’t last all week.
Now mind you, I do have to check social media for my job, as the fundraiser for a regional performing arts center, I do manage our infant social media accounts. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
So, when I would log on to check for work, I would surreptitiously check notifications but was good about NOT checking the feeds or getting lost in a the black hole of an endless, mind-numbing thumb scroll. You know what I mean! Where we just scroll after scroll after scroll to see if anything catches our eye – and then we settle on a cute cat or baby video, or worse on a rant from someone we barely know. And in that moment, because our vibration is so low, our energy is practically at an all time low, we are attracted to things/posts/videos/comments that have a low vibration themselves. Because after all, like attracts like.
I tried to be hyper vigilant about my limited time on social media this week. What did I really miss if at all?
And what it came down to was this:
I missed my Facebook group, The Breathing Space – this group of like-minded souls who are committed to putting the oxygen mask on themselves first so that they can better support the people they love, the community they serve and the world they seek to change.
- I missed my friend Donna’s uplifting quotes on Facebook. (they never cease to make me say to myself YES!! that’s exactly what I am talking about!)
- I missed my friend Anna’s exercise and gym videos on Instagram (she inspires me so much!)
- I missed my friend Susan’s posts who’s passion around creating and capturing memories is infectious!
- And my friend Vickie who never ceases to make me laugh…and there were others too that make me smile on FB.
You get the picture. I missed the personal connections and updates. The real updates. The ones that tell me what is truly going on in the lives of my friends across the country and the world.
And THIS is why I miss and mostly want to spend time on Facebook.
Think about it, if those friends were close by, and some of them are…we wouldn’t/don’t text, talk or visit 7-10 times a day.
So what about social media makes us do that, and most of the time without even thinking?
Lately, with my kids’ swim schedules I spend nearly 2 hours each day at the local swimming pool. It would be so easy to get lost in the black scroll…2 hours a day! 4 days a week.
That’s 8 hours a week!
That’s enough time for a very productive side hustle endeavor
Or write a book
Or study for a new degree
Or take an online course
Or walk/run/ride around the facility
Or read a book that helps with personal or professional development
But, the thumb scroll usually wins out when we are waiting somewhere. Because it’s easier. Because we are programmed that way. Because it’s the 21st century equivalent of 4am infomercials when we can’t sleep at night.
So, the next time you find yourself in line somewhere, or waiting while your child is participating in their after school activity (an activity you signed them up for, to better themselves), don’t check into Facebook to see what others are doing.
Spend that time identifying what YOU can do for YOURSELF that will better yourself.
- Keep your sneakers in the trunk so you can walk the perimeter of the facility or field.
- Keep a book with you at all times.
- Find a grassy surface and do some push ups, planks or simply march in place. (yes people might think you’re nuts…or you might start a new parent club!)
- Meditate. Yes, even in the midst of noise and bustle, you can take yourself off from the main activity, or go back to your car, and just spend 5 minutes doing some intentional breathing.
- Plan the family’s meals for the following week and get your grocery list in order. You will be much more time and cost efficient if you do it this way.
Make intentional times to check into Facebook and your other social media platforms so that you get your ‘fix for the day,’ but don’t let it rule your life.
Take control back and use social media to your advantage, instead of giving the marketers, advertisers, vote-tainters exactly what they want.
You at your lowest energy point.
Take your energy back!