By Lisa Selow
CC Image courtesy of Librarian by Linkedmediagrp on Flickr
In our high tech world, we can write emails, social media posts, and even blog posts on our mobile devices. With a couple of clicks, we can send photos and videos to our loved ones. We also can text or video chat very easily.
Technology helps us stay connected to those we love and enjoy, while also creating new friendships online. Yet, it can be draining at times, since we are managing even more communications and a greater number of relationships in our daily lives.
Do you ever think about what it would be like to unplug, even just a little bit each day or for a short, but extended amount of time? Maybe you even fantasize about what it would be like to delete your Facebook profile?
You’re not alone. As I write this, I’m right smack in the middle of a self-administered, monthlong social media detox. Other than some tweets I scheduled last month, I’ve not logged in or posted in any of my social media accounts.
Why did I decide to do this?
My main reason is self-care, since I felt depleted by unsolicited advice from others on social media, particularly in private messages. Reading my newsfeed on Facebook drained me too. While I’m happy for others’ successes, I started to put extra pressure on myself to achieve, do, and produce. My inner critics were pouncing on me! At times, I’m already hard on myself as I recover from perfectionism. So, I realized that I needed a break.
Here’s what I’ve learned so far abstaining from social media:
I have more time to do what matters to me. Art, music, creative hobbies, meditation, and yoga have become daily practices of mine, not just optional, as I made them in the past.
I’m more in the present moment. I don’t have five tabs open on my computer as I try to do my work.
I zone out much less when I’m tired or stressed. I tend to stretch and drink water more and take more breaks, instead of checking on my newsfeed or messages.
I notice more inner peace. I’m not comparing myself to others as much. I don’t feel anxious and don’t feel like I’m not doing enough to achieve happiness or success (or perfection).
I have remembered that I’ve always been more about quality, not quantity of friends. I’m enjoying spending time in person with friends or connecting with them through email or telephone. I feel more connected to my heart.
I’m sure I’ll learn some more things from my social media detox. The major a-ha moments seem to come to me one at a time. I have been keeping a list of these a-ha’s in my journal. It’s helpful to look at the list when I feel tempted to check social media. I also have an accountability partner that I can contact if I feel the urge to log in to Facebook or Twitter or elsewhere in the social media world.
I’m not saying social media is a negative thing. Rather, I’m sharing my journey to help you think about how you spend your precious time. My goal is to achieve a balance with social media, being on it a few times per week, instead of hours per day. I myself find it wonderful to have time for fun, self-care, and creative hobbies.
What about you? What challenges or joys does social media bring to your life? Share in the comments below.