Social media is LIFE in this new era. Millennials they call us, obsessed with self. So much so, that we make a page about ourselves and it’s totally normal (Facebook etc). It’s crazy to me how everyone follows this trend of posting pictures online for other people to see, myself included. And it feels good when someone approves of it with likes or comments. Even though we don’t live for it, we get soaked up in it. And if we aren’t the ones snapping our special life moments, we are consuming followers posts. Oh the harm in too much social media! We compare, we get jealous, we judge, we think we are better, the list of things that happen while scrolling is endless.
Not necessarily bad or wrong, because it is a way to connect to our friends, but boy is it nice to get a break and clear your head! Maybe your not like I once was, maybe you don’t care about this social media frenzy, or maybe you know how to control yourself well when it comes to that stuff.
Having a newborn, with lots of downtime on my hands because of the boredom of sitting home all day and having a baby at your breast, I would get caught up in social media a lot. I would be jealous seeing others enjoy life outside their home or I would try capturing special moments of my precious baby to show him off to the world. As the kids got older, I would continue on snapping our little life moments where we would be having fun. I enjoyed sharing my life with others until I realized I wasn’t enjoying the full potential of the moment of being present with my family because I was hoping I could get a picture worthy to post. How silly of me. You know when you go to a park and the kids are going down the slide and you take a million pictures until they finally look into the camera… or your kissing them and decided this would be a cute picture so instead of just loving on them, you get distracted and snap a pic. Then you find the rest of the day looking at the pic because you like how it turned it and wonder if anyone else thinks it’s pretty darn cute too.
Maybe you don’t even realize all this happens to you while you are on social media. You just consume and consume everyone else’s life that you aren’t living your own. You spend free time seeing what others are up to, thinking, what kind of adventures are they pursing now? While in the spare time you did have, you could have been working on your own goals and dreams.
If you are feeling down and unhappy with your own life, by all means, get off that social media! It will make you hate your life even more because seeing something different then the four walls in your space will make you think it’s BETTER. And in case you haven’t realized it yet, it’s not always better. Social media is filtered. Filtered to take out the blemishes and bad parts, so you only see the good. Most people, will only show you the good parts of their life. The pretty parts. It isn’t wrong, in fact I believe it’s good! In a way it can help you look back and remember all the positive memories. But being a human, we have it in us to compare. We compare how we look, act, and the things we have to other people. It’s natural in us, and it’s not a bad thing but could easily ruin our self esteem. You know that thing that makes you feel good about yourself and your life. In positive ways, comparing can lead you to self growth. However, if your feeling unhappy with your life, seeing someone’s filtered life will lead you to believe they have it better and will only make you feel worse. This is why I take social media fasts.
Social media fasts are healthy and necessary for everyone. It’s good to clear your mind of filtered products and focus on what’s in front of you. It distracts us… from alerts on our phones to the automatic notion to check what people are up to. You know those times when your waiting in line and you go on your phone. Your at a doctors appointment waiting to be called so you scroll on your phone. Taking a fast helps you notice what’s really going on around you. Without having an escape to go on social media you can start to notice and appreciate more things in life. You can pay attention to the clerk scanning groceries, actually mean it when you say how are you back to them.Taking a social media fast helps you have MORE time during those fun times with friends or family. Instead of wasting the time of taking a good picture and then editing it and then adding a caption, you just enjoy every second of the moment. Your memory may not be on display for others to see, but who cares?
How I do social media fasts
I delete the app. Most social media is accessed through an app, so to really not fall into the trap of clicking on it, I simply delete it. Out of site, out of mind. If I find myself wondering too often on it or if I see I’m distracted by it more than I would like to, I delete it for some time. I hate when it steals time from me enjoying the presence of my children. Or worse, takes my attention away from them. I usually notice that I become more frustrated, angry, and anxious when I slip into the social media frenzy. After a week, or month I get the app back. Sounds like a long time? It is! But I realized I enjoy being fully present with my family and in the moment. Sometimes I get curious to see what my friends babies look like by now or what they are up to, so that’s when I usually get it back. If I find I go on it often just because, I move the app all the way to the ‘last page’ on my phone, you know when you slide screens and you reach the last one, yep that’s where it goes. Since it’s a habit for me to check my phone, I subconsciously see the social media app and click it without even realizing it. When it’s hidden in the back I take the time to scroll to there when I’m actually free and have time to unwind and connect to others.
Changed my life.
Taking control of my social media has really benefited me. I feel like I have so much more time and freedom, I don’t feel urged to check my phone often and I’m more content with my life. I don’t see images everyday of perfect looking families in their perfect clean homes even though they have 4 kids and 2 dogs. Or that couple that’s going to Hawaii for their 3rd time, meanwhile I’m wiping booties for the 5th time today. Ha! In conclusion, social media is a nice source to have to connect to people, but it is very healthy for the mind to take a break from all the action and just enjoy life raw and unfiltered.