First of all… Happy New Year! It’s 2019… what are you excited for?? So for lots of people who know me, know that I have huge social media presence. When I left my home of 24 years in Illinois for a life of the unknown, the way I kept in touch with most of my friends and family was through Facebook. It was just the easiest way I could keep people in the know of my life and experiences of joining the army. Fast forward now, I just received notice (and thank you Facebook for keeping track of anniversaries and such), that it was my 14 YEAR ANNIVERSARY with Facebook. WOW! Such an accomplishment… not really haha! But crazy how it has been that long that I, Melanie, have been addicted to Facebook. There I said it! I AM ADDICTED TO FACEBOOK!
What came about my idea of needing to “detox” myself from social media in general was my nieces. So for the holiday season, I went to visit my family in Illinois for Christmas. It had been about 1 year since I’ve been home to visit, and I was quite excited because I also had a cousin visiting from Canada who I haven’t seen since 2009. So it had been a LONG TIME. It was fun… I was trying to be more “present” with my family and just enjoy all of the little things with my nieces and my nephew. But one thing that stuck out in particular was something that my nieces said to me. It had been after I was using the Snapchat app and playing around using their filters, my nieces started asking me “Auntie, how many people liked it or how many people watched it?” I sorta just stared at them for a bit taken back by what I actually heard. I felt a sense of guilt come over me. Am I teaching them this? That they need to check for this approval from others?? Is this my fault? Was I that so self involved that I had that need to keep checking to see if people did like or comment on my post or that they had viewed my video?? I’m teaching this to the next generation and I used to poke fun at what is happening to the next generation when I’m the one who is influencing them right now.
Well so this got me thinking. How much of using social media has taken over my life? And what would happen if I just stopped using it for a while? My plan was to delete the Facebook and Instagram apps from my phone because that’s where I mostly use it. Mindlessly scrolling through my feed and looking at peoples’ posts. I mean, what purpose was that really serving me I found myself asking? Was I really addicted? I needed this for my business right? I can’t really give it up? But let’s see if I can do this. My husband gave me 1 day of giving it up and he thought I would be back using it the next day already haha. But I used January 1, 2019 to start my little experiment.
Here’s what happened to me in 3 weeks of not using social media (Facebook and Instagram):
I HAD MORE TIME
Did you know, at least for iPhone users, you can check out your screen time usage? I just discovered that on your phone, it tracks how often you are picking up your phone and using it. It also tracks patterns and lets you know if you’ve used it more this week vs last week. So I found not having the apps, I kinda just stared at my phone and didn’t really find any use for it. Unless I called someone or text messaged someone, I didn’t really use it for much other things. So I started to read when I first woke up. I also read before going to bed. I quickly learned that while I started to use my time more wisely and read instead of stare at my phone mindlessly scrolling, I was bettering myself better by reading. In the 3 weeks, I read 5 books!! And I enjoyed it too! I used to read alot for pleasure, lots of professional development type books but also fiction books. I somehow got “too busy” to take the time to sit down and read. But I had more time. As you get older, your thirst for knowledge shouldn’t be neglected and it does your brain well to continue to learn new things. During this time, I finished up my Integrative Nutrition Course and graduated and still had lots of time for other things. I had more time to cook and figure out different meals to try. I ate more slowly, therefore enjoying my food more. I got more done around the house. I was more productive overall!
So if you’re in school, or you’ve got goals in your business and you feel that you’re way too busy and can’t get anything done… delete your social media apps! You will have LOTS MORE TIME!
I SLEPT BETTER
I noticed something that I was doing was bringing my phone with me to bed so that staring at the bright screen was the last thing I saw and then the first thing I saw when I woke up. I found myself grabbing for my phone and hitting the spot where the Facebook app used to be. THAT IS NOT HEALTHY. What did I need to check on Facebook first thing in the morning? Did I really feel the need for attention? Was it that important to see if people liked my last post? What if nobody liked it? Should I delete it? That seriously went on in my head… exhausting right?? That’s how I knew I was addicted. How is that me, I teach people to not worry about what others think about you, but here I am mindlessly checking to see if people have commented or liked my post? It didn’t make any sense to me and I started to need to practice what I preach. No wonder I had trouble sleeping and always needed something to help me sleep! Well, I started to read before I went to bed as a way to wind down. Your brain will thank you later and also your eyes so you’re not staring at something bright right before bed. This time allows your brain to slowly slow down and start to shut things down. It also gave me time to focus on what I was grateful for today. The focus is on you and ONLY YOU. No need to check to see what The Kardashians ate for dinner….
“Most of us all walk around as if we’re sleepwalking. We really don’t experience the world fully, because we’re half-asleep, doing things we automatically think we have to do.”
– Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom
I WAS MORE PRESENT
Have you ever taken the time to look around at restaurants or people just out and about at the stores and just see how they interact? I’ve noticed more and more families eating together, but not really being present. I’ve noticed them all staring at their phones, sometimes not even saying one word to each other. How sad right? This is what our world has come to. And I’m guilty myself!! Totally not perfect and I admit it. But I wanted that to change. If I was sad for other families acting that why, why should I do it too? Definitely putting my phone away while we were out and eating together, I was able to actually be present and have a conversation without any distractions. I actually got to enjoy my meal and not rush through it. You actually make use of a lot of your senses when your face is not buried in your phone.
Also what I found was that I started to actually only use my phone for phone calls and messages. I found that I had more time to actually talk and have a conversation with people. When you’re so addicted to social media, it actually disconnects us from actual human contact. If it’s not physical, I found that just talking to the person vs messaging them on FB is a lot more satisfying. I know some people who are quite the introverts may not agree, but you should try picking up your phone and talking to a close friend or family member once in a while. We all need that type of human contact. It’s good for the soul.
“We are too involved in materialistic things, and they don’t satisfy us. The loving relationships we have, the universe around us, we take these things for granted.”
– Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom
I WAS HAPPIER
I truly was! And what I didn’t realize what I was doing was trying to “Keep up with the Jones” basically. Now I didn’t purposefully do it, but subconsciously I was. Moving from Hawaii to New Jersey was a huge hit for me. I loved everything about Hawaii, the weather, the scenery, the vibes etc. Now I’m here in New Jersey but I’m still seeing lots of my friends in beautiful sunny Hawaii… going on hikes… enjoying the sunshine… I didn’t realize I was making myself feel bad. Oh so and so is on vacation and looks like they’re having so much fun… while I just moved here and needs to unpack. I didn’t realize that I was putting myself down. I was starting to give myself anxiety and I’m not an anxious person! I was comparing myself to others, when I know that I shouldn’t be doing that. We all know what we have to do, but we do it anyways… sometimes not even realizing it. But I was. I was comparing myself to others, and it wasn’t healthy. Now of course, if you truly have a mental disorder such as depression, that is nothing to take lightly and I know sometimes using the word “depressed” is used so universally, but I truly was making myself feel bad about myself. I found myself thinking, we need to go do something new and fun, and adventurous so I have something to post on Facebook or Instagram. NOOOOOOOOO…. I had to stop thinking that way. I had to start doing things because I wanted to. Not so that I had something to post.
I’m telling you, the minute you delete your social media apps, it feels satisfying. But you do go through, oh crap, I wonder what’s going on with other people. There were so many times I just wanted to take a peek… but I made myself busy with something else to take my mind off of it. I even caught myself asking my husband what’s going on in your Facebook feed haha! But when you do get to the point of not caring about having to get the approval of others and just doing things for the fun it without having to share it with others, it makes it more fun!!
While others may benefit from the use of Social Media, there’s nothing wrong with using it. I just want to be clear about that. I’m not judging people because I do truly know how great social media can be for businesses. I’m just forewarning you of the possibilities you can have if you just detox from it from time to time. Any time frame, it’s up to you. I know some people benefit from taking a break during the weekends from any technology which is great! I’m just saying, you may have a problem and may not realize it. But this was just my experience on what I had gained from giving up and “detoxing” from social media for 3 weeks! I’m happy to also say that making it a habit of not checking social media for a few weeks, it’s gotten a lot easier!! I no longer feel the strong need to check it all the time, that’s a win for me! I will still continue to use social media because I do enjoy seeing my friends and their children grow up and seeing other peoples’ successes. But if this is something that causes you stress and anxiety, don’t do it! Just take it out all together if it causes you stress. The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. You just have to be strong enough to say if that culture doesn’t work for you, just say no.
I hope you enjoyed this post and hope it brings insight to some of you. Maybe it’s time to try a little social media detoxing for yourself!
Cheers to 2019!!
Peace, Love and Awesomeness,
Interested in how I can help you reach your full potential, be healthy and well balanced and finally live the life you deserve to live? Let’s TALK! Schedule a FREE consultation with me!