03 Feb Do you need a social media detox? Why I decided to take a 30-day break.
Instagram. Facebook. Pinterest. Twitter. LinkedIN. Snapchat. Periscope (is that still a thing?). These are just a few of the social media outlets roaming around these days.
The number of social media outlets that are both revolutionizing the way we do business, and run for office apparently, are also giving people an endless number of opportunities to watch their ever so precious time disappear into the abyss.
I’ve been on social media for so many years that the memories of the days when hashtags didn’t exist have faded. Yet sometimes my mind flashes back to when the only phone I owned was plugged to a wall and getting a cell phone seemed like a serious waste of money.
I remember when Facebook just came on the scene. It was only available to university students back then. Do you remember?
Friend requests were the new commodity. All it took was a few beers and the ability to remember someone’s last name. With time I started noticing that I would see someone on the street and wonder where I knew them from. Only to realize once they had walked passed that we were “friends” on Facebook.
Fast forward to the last couple of years…
I have more social media accounts than bank accounts.
I’ll skip my yoga practice for days without thinking twice, yet find the time to check Instagram and Facebook multiple times a day.
Leaving the house without my cell phone is a big deal. BIG.
Don’t get me wrong, social media has been amazing. Allowing me to stay connected with actual friends from around the globe. Make new connections that would have otherwise never happened. Find out if that guy who asked for my number was actually a creep, which did save me from a few train-wrecks. Led me to the most epic romantic experiences, from a loving relationship after a “Happy Birthday” post on their wall to dancing the night away with who at the time seemed like my dream man.
Social media has had a huge impact on my business. I’ve connected with clients. Been let into their lives. Built collaborative relationships. Have been able to share a piece of my life with you along the way.
Overall, social media has been more positive than negative.
But lately things started to shift. Or rather feel off.
I often say to my clients that there is a fine line between inspiration and comparison. What feeds your soul and ignites your creative fire one minute can also make self-doubt and feelings of not being enough run wild the next.
I was crossing that line more than I liked recently.
I noticed myself giving social media the key to my happiness.
Less than this number of “likes” means that I am not doing a good job.
I need to reach X amount of followers.
I found myself putting off time to work towards goals that nourish my mind, body, and spirit, in lieu of doing just one more post.
I attempted fighting feelings of loneliness by seeing what others were up to.
And then I thought: This is utterly FU&K%D.
I needed to get my power back.
Review WHY I was using social media in the first place. Miss it for a while. Take the keys back to my own happiness by doing the things I want to do whether others know about it or not.
I had thought of taking a break from social media to see what would happen. After speaking to a friend about the idea she asked what would happen to my business with a concerned tone. I put the idea on the back burner and organized my most used hashtags.
It had been months that too much time on social media had come up as a main cause of distraction in client sessions and workshops. Tools that people adored were also a cause of stress.
Busy moms expressed missing quality time with their kids as they, and their kids, scrolled through Instagram in their beds at night.
Business owners reluctantly admitted spending more time than they would like to admit creating their social media game plan rather than on the things that were actually their business.
Single friends sent sad face emojis after seeing yet another engagement or pregnancy announcement.
New parents admitted feeling guilty about their desire to frolick freely on the beaches of Bali.
The common theme was a feeling of inadequacy. Invasive thoughts that suggested they should be living a different life mixed with craving to regain time freedom.
I know that social media can be a powerful tool, however if you use a hammer to beat yourself in the head, what good is it to you then?
To combat my own feelings of inadequacy and regain my freedom, I decided to take a break. Being an all or nothing type of person, the idea of taking weekends didn’t feel like the way to go.
I know social media can help me hammer down some nails to hold up a solid foundation to inspire and empower. I just need to fill in my inspiration tank from within so that when the temptation to cross over into comparison presents itself, I’ll have resources to pull me back to the inspired side of life.
Only 3 days in, I already feel I am starting to fill up. Taking time to review the goals I’ve been putting off and cultivate the habits that will get me there.
From writing my book to completing a photography course to getting back into a healthy morning routine, these are just a few of the things I am excited to focus on this month. Not to mention actually calling friends instead of simply tagging them in a post.
Perhaps you’ve had your phone fall on your face after your fingers unfortunately let it slip out of your grasp as you scrolled through Instagram in bed. Or you’ve read to this point and felt your inner voice think “that would be amazing.” Or if you’ve been distracted by notifications as you read this post, chances are you might want to create your own version of a social media detox.
Inspiration. Comparison. What side of the line are you on these days?
If you need to fill up on inspiration, where will you start?
What would you say are your greatest sources of distraction or time wasters?
Leaning into the future, will you look back and wished you spent more time on Facebook or cuddling with your loved ones?
Just check in. Whether it’s social media or something else like sugar or fear, every now and then it’s a good idea to take your power back. To make sure that what is meant to be a tool hasn’t turned on you.
Need inspiration? Check out this awesome TedTalk on quitting social media!