Calling a Little T on Social Media

Good day to you!

Today I wanted to share a little bit about my break from social media.  I decided exactly 6 weeks ago that it was time for me to get off social media for a bit.  This included both Instagram (which I found to be a small obsession of mine) and Facebook (which I got on when I had gone through everything there was to go through on IG).  When I started, my goal was just a week.  And one week turned into two and two into six, apparently.

You see, I didn’t have a real intention when I set out to do it.  It was more of just an internal, “hey why don’t I stop looking at my phone every 5 seconds and what can I do to help that along?”  I decided that getting off IG and FB were the ways to go.  I talked myself OUT of getting off of them for about a week prior.  Thinking, “well where am I going to find the current trends on fashion, or find quotes that speak to me, or something that makes me laugh, or pictures my friends post?” or “how will I know to congratulate someone, wish people a happy birthday, or offer my condolences if something bad happens??”  I found every reason in the world NOT to give myself the break I actually needed to be more of who I wanted to be (hence the double entendre in the title of this blog).

I know this is getting a little deep here… but who I wanted to be did not include being someone who was constantly checking her phone, being rude to those around her by doing so, and being generally not present.  One of my favorite quotes is, “Be here now.”  And I wasn’t.  I was in the cyber world.  Thinking that looking at fashion and jokes and quotes was keeping me busy or informing in some way.  It really wasn’t.  It was just a completely mindless activity that I started doing more and more when I was bored until it actually became habitual.  Sure, there’s plenty of stuff to look at and draw inspiration from, but if you don’t limit yourself, you’ll find you’re investing way more time into crap than into what’s around you.  Another one of my fav quotes is, “what you focus on expands.”  Instead of investing into myself, my hubs and dogs, my friends, my home, my hobbies for cryin’ outloud, I was sitting staring at a screen.  So my focus was on that screen… and it just expanded and expanded to the point where I’d barely be able to sit and watch an entire movie without looking at my phone.

The results?  Amaze-balls.  The first couple of days felt a little like someone coming off an addiction (as sad as that is to admit) and I found myself having to look at something else on my phone for a bit to taper off.  But you know what I was looking at?  The news.  Or Christmas presents for my family.  Or ideas on Pinterest for a party.  Or a new recipe to try.  Sure, I was still looking at that little screen, but I was looking at things that were going to actually better me.  Make me more informed, think of others, help me think of something I wanted to do with a hobby, instead of making those social media sites my hobby.

I started reading more (BOOKS!), cooking more, talking to friends more.  I was more engaged in whatever show I was watching with my hubs, more interested in conversations I was having throughout the day, had more of a desire to be productive in my days.  I just started doing shit!  Rather than looking online and seeing what everyone else was doing, wearing, saying, etc.

And even better, after a little bit, I found myself losing my phone! Forgetting where I put it altogether.  Now that may sound annoying to you, but I loved it!  I loved that I had disconnected myself with my phone so much that I had no idea where it was.  I even made a rule for myself not to take my phone to bed anymore.  It’s still in my room but it’s not in bed with me anymore.  Instead of looking at it before I sleep, I read a book on spirituality, or fashion, or being a badass at work.  And ya know what?  I started sleeping better!  They say it’s really bad to look at your phone or electronics before bed because it keeps your mind more activated, and as a problem sleeper, I can attest to being able to get in more relaxed state without that little phone of mine in hand before bed.  And my husband noticed a difference in my mood throughout the day, even.

The only slight negative to the whole thing was feeling like I was missing out on something when someone would tell me to check something out on Facebook, or finding out something good or bad happened to someone and I missed it… But really, with the closest people in my life, I’d find out one way or another.  And everyone respected my little break and kept me in the loop.  Sure I missed some pictures and quotes and fashion, but it sure isn’t gonna make or break me!

Now, this is not to say I’m done with social media by any means… and most likely if you’re reading this post, you found it through my broadcasting it on some form of social media cuz I’ve decided to end the break =)  But I’d like to think I’ve created some new and better habits and limits for myself.  Healthier ones, ones for me to be a better friend, partner, family member, fur baby mama, what have you…  But mainly, just for me to be a better ME — to be HERE now.  To focus on what I really want to expand and see it do so.

My phone and I are still very close, but we’ve had to set some new boundaries in our relationship 😉  I don’t think it minds.  It still gets plenty of attention.  Just on my better-me terms 🙂

So if you’re finding yourself feeling like you’re looking down at your phone/computer more than you’re looking around you, I challenge you to set some new boundaries with your relationship with it and social media, in particular.  Hey, it really can’t hurt…trust me, I’ve done the leg work.

<3 – T

xo, tess

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