After any amount of time I'm off social media, I often get asked why I take long breaks from logging on? I love a social media break, it really helps me observe what I do with my time, and gives me a lot of insight on how I can make better use of my time. I have so many important connections I have made on social media, and find the medicine of it to be important, but for me personally if I'm not careful I get totally out of balance with it. I'll give you some of my reasons and lessons and let me know if any of it resonates with you.
I have 5 signs that really give me the flag that it's time to take a break.
- When I find myself distracted by every sound, notification, social trend, of having to follow a certain persons story, to the point that I find myself 45 minutes later having realized I just spent a huge chunk of time, just shooting hearts and emoji-es all over the place. Of course I don't want to be 100% disconnected, we already are pretty hermit-ed here not leaving the house; so I only tend to go rogue when my addict comes out to play.
- I really like to connect with people in person, but sometimes I won't reach out to a friend or loved one because I see what they have going on, on social media, I think, "Well I don't have to." It's only when I step away that I realize how much I crave true connection and while social media lets us story tell and share updates, it isn't the kind of connection I want to have with my friends and family.
- When I find myself admiring what others are doing so much, I forget to do anything myself, if I'm not careful I find myself admiring everyone I love to follow that I find myself here with a day of doing nothing but scrolling on my phone.
- This one is a big one. Hard to admit even. There are days where I will find myself genuinely upset that people didn't give me the response I wanted on a post, or upset when people don't buy my art, or read my blogs. When that happens I know my reason for doing and being is very much so out of alignment.
- Before this last social media break I observed myself, reaching for my phone at any single pause. Whether it be a commercial, waiting for Steve to type, when I was blocked while writing, or literally any moment in between. I would reach for it, get lost into it for a bit, catch myself, and find it hard to get back on track. It was a habit, and one that took me stepping away to break; and will take me continuing to be mindful of.
I find that in our world today, distractions are everywhere. When you drive in your car the information you take in from all the advertisements everywhere (unless of course you're in the country and if so I know you're loving it, I would :)). When you check your emails, that 30 junk emails you end up deleting, the social media notifications, the news (that's a whole separate blog that I will write for you soon), ... I feel like this list could continue but you are aware of what your distractions are, I don't have to tell you that.
What I can tell you is, that the three weeks I stepped away from social media, helped me really tune into how I was spending my time. I found myself getting so much done. I of course, had to stop myself from reaching for my phone maybe 500 times a day, but it was powerful to see just how often I do that. I have written on this before, but I have a way of blaming other circumstances and people when I don't get my goals for the week done. *important side note:* I'm of course not promoting all this doing and hoping people forget about being, but even my down time isn't well spent scrolling on the phone; drawing, art, time in nature, reading, journaling, writing out all those ideas you keep saying you don't have time for, you fill in the blanks here. My down time is better used elsewhere. Truth is it's no ones fault but my own if I don't crush my week. Steve doesn't distract me by needing me every 30 minutes (average), my phone does.
Interestingly after being off for a week, friends who I had been hoping to hear from were reaching out, I was getting to catch up with friends, I was connecting with those around me again. I think this is really important to say, because I know I'm guilty of it, and almost everyone is on a small scale. When is the last time you actually spoke to someone you follow closely online that you consider a friend in person? OR... When's the last time you went to visit that person who is stuck in bed? It's interesting that people think because I'm so good at sharing our life that we are really connected. Are we?
There's so much noise going on in our world right now, it's a bit of tumultuous times, a small step back however, can do you a huge favor. When I take a social media break, I should add, I take an all media break. It is okay to step away from the resistance (whichever side of it you find yourself on) and check in with you. Sometimes I wonder how many people are just regurgitating information that is so frequently being handed to them instead of forming their own opinions or beliefs. I know I can fall into that so quickly and when I shut it out, tune in, read, actually do my own quiet research; I know my truths. I don't have to feel swayed by all the noise around me. In these days, this feels so vital.
So if after reading this you feel like maybe you need a small break, I highly encourage it. You choose your length, you choose the rules; that way it's what YOU need. I assure you, you'll find yourself connecting with life in a way that just doesn't happen when we give in to all the distractions.