Dear Friends; in short, I have mixed feelings about social media. I see good and bad in it, and as with most things in life it’s not black or white. It’s a great way to keep in touch with my international friends and family abroad, remember birthdays, celebrate with others large milestones in their lives…but it also is a major time suck, sometimes is a source of negativity and hatred, drives comparisons among others and friends alike, can deliver fake news, and spies on your private life. I’m trying to grow a personal business, and I know social media is helpful for this, but I couldn’t keep denying my need for self to let go of the social media crutch for some clarity.
Unknowingly and with a good heart, I’ve caught myself in the comparison trap from social media. I have found myself looking for and silently celebrating approval from the number of likes on my posts. I found myself reading self-help posts and using those as crutches of comfort instead of practicing what I preach and doing the hard-internal work for myself. And I also see how I’ve used social media to feel less lonely as a form of connection as I grow into myself. It’s now time to sit with the loneliness of a growing self instead of numbing it through other’s journeys.
So, it’s only been a week off all my social media accounts (personal and business) and I’ll have to admit, it’s been much easier than my first cleanse a few years back that lasted over a year. This time I let it go without hesitation and with joy. Although I don’t think of myself as a person who is staring at their phone all the time, getting off social media showed me that I am that kind of person. The subconscious checking of your phone when bored in life is a habit that we are unaware of, until the temptation is removed. After one week free of the temptation, here are just 3 things I’ve noticed in myself.
1. My focus enhanced. I’m able to focus more fully one one thing and completing it without the interruption of checking my phone. I’m in a deeper form of concentration without the distraction and I’m sure that this will continue to improve.
2. My free time has grown. I find myself with more time to dig into a chapter of a book, spend extra time to cook a healthy meal, bike to the grocery store instead of driving, choose what websites I visit and what articles I read without the suggestions from social media, and what I’m most excited about is the yoga challenge I’ve given myself to do yoga every damn day. Filling more of my free time with motion has greatly improved my mood.
3. My sleep has improved. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I struggle with sleep big time. And it’s not an issue falling asleep, It’s an issue with staying asleep. My mind is racing in the background and I spend most my nights sleepless and waking multiple times. Since the social media cleanse, I’ve been able to go to sleep earlier, sleep a little longer and wake up slightly more refreshed. Although I still have much improvement in this category to make, I’m so happy that it has improved.
As I mentioned, this is just week one of the social media cleanse and these are just things I’ve noticed in myself. I’m not at all bashing social media or “proving” that taking a break from it can improve these things in you, but rather sharing how it’s helping me. I’m now more determined than ever to grow my business without the tools of social media-think it’s possible? I’m promoting a community to get out in nature and off living through their phones, so this is a good place to start at least.