90 days ago I decided to take a break from social media. I’m glad I did. My thumbs are in much better condition because they haven’t spent the last quarter of the year scrolling up and down to see what everybody else is posting on whatever their favorite social media platform happens to be these days. 90 days with no TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, or my fave-Twitter. Interestingly enough, I missed Twitter the most, and I use it for social purposes the least. It’s more of a professional platform for me, and I’m looking forward to joining my PLN again tomorrow. The others not so much.
I made a decision to deactivate my Facebook page near the conclusion of my hiatus. I determined Facebook was mostly responsible for my decision to detox from social media and so maybe staying away from it might work best for me. Prior to the hiatus, social media started to feel like I was spending time bathing my brain in bad vibes. Even when I made attempts to post something positive every morning, I still found myself sucked in and watching the comments on various posts, which tended to land on the negative and complaining end of the spectrum. At the same time that I broke up with social media, I started seeing stories on the news about the Facebook whistleblower. I was intrigued and felt affirmed in my decision. I’m happy to report that I don’t miss Facebook. At all.
I couldn’t help but notice all the ways I had used social media as an escape, often spending countless hours scrolling and looking…at other people, their experiences, and their stories. A few weeks into being off of social media and I found the stack of books on my bedside table had dwindled to two instead of six. Suddenly, I had time to read. I’d also somehow found time to make new music, reimage my computer, listen to podcasts, and enjoy two new television shows. Each week I decided to start my Mondays by writing a thank you card to people whose friendship and connection had been important to me during the pandemic. I enjoyed the messages I got from each of them after being surprised by receiving my card. That was a really good feeling.
I worked to be more present in my conversations and with my thoughts, ideas, joys, and thinking about my future goals and aspirations. I started journaling again for the first time in years. I enjoyed simply sitting in the quiet, taking naps on the couch, and sitting out in the sunshine on warm days listening to music. I was taken aback by how often I initially reached for my phone at first, especially in those “there’s nothing else to do” moments. I didn’t realize how accustomed I had become to scrolling and looking, and now that I think about it, I can’t help but wonder how much of my life I’ve probably missed because I was so busy looking at everyone else’s.
My goal isn’t to condemn those who enjoy social media and use it to stay connected to family and friends. I, too, want and need that connection. I just want it in person, being present, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, rather than virtually. It seems to me that life is comprised of a series of exchanged experiences, and I want to savor the ones that bring me joy and happiness, with the people I love and care about the most. No matter how many likes or hearts a posts might receive, nothing can take the place of an exchanged smile, a shared laugh, or an offered hug.
It’s a new season of life for me. I have no idea what the future holds, but I promised myself I won’t miss it looking out when I need to be looking within.
Until next time,