My Social Media Detox- Part 2: Exploring
In my last post, I shared my social-media-induced struggles with you all. For those of you who didn’t read Part 1, here’s a high-level synopsis: my relationship with social media had begun to feel a bit toxic, and the anxiety and dread I was beginning to experience was a sounding alarm for me to step away for a bit.
While I made the decision less-than-lightly, I also knew in my gut that it was the right thing to do. How? I don’t really know. In the moment, I think I was just able to shut out all the incessant mental-chatter and tune-in to what my real, authentic self was trying to say to me.
However, once I actually went off the grid…
Thoughts like these flipped through my conscious:
- Will I become irrelevant?
- What will people say about me while I’m off-line?
- What if something major happens and I have no idea – like I lose all my followers!
I mean obviously I knew that these were irrational fears, but what I’ve realized is that when we break free from something that has a hold on us, we can also feel like we’re losing control. And let’s be real, as a recovering perfectionist, I freakin’ LOVE control.
As you know, for my “break” I went to Great Wolf Lodge with my family, and as much as I loved being disconnected, I found myself feeling for my phone at least once every 45 minutes as if it was just a reflex. Tell me you can relate?!
Something to EXPLORE…
Here’s a quick summary of my first few days:
It started to become painfully clear how much I had gotten used to aimlessly consuming social media in those in-between moments throughout the day:
- Whenever I wasn’t “doing” anything, I had to fight the urge to grab my phone and click on Instagram
- I felt removed and disconnected from the “social world” like I didn’t know what was going on
- I didn’t know what the response was on my latest post, which had a darker tone about my unhappiness. Were people overreacting? Did they understand? Or were they taking it out of context? Was I going to lose all of my community?
I really felt myself start to settle back down… it was nice to begin to forget where my phone was.
- I realized I didn’t miss it, and it felt like a relief not to be immersed in it
- I began to feel detached and disconnected from other people’s “stuff” (ahem, otherwise known as healthy boundaries)
- I began to feel more present and engaged with my husband and daughter. I also began to feel calmer and more mentally focused
- Those “in-between moments” that were once hijacked by social media, became opportunities to tune back into myself and my immediate surroundings
- My perspective started to shift towards something crucial: What’s “real” is what’s in front of my eyes in that exact moment
I realized that I needed to create a better system for engaging with social media. I obviously didn’t think about giving it up forever, but I did realize that I had been engaging with social media haphazardly. I don’t “fly blind” in any other area of my life – instead, I craft and curate things intentionally, to create healthy boundaries for myself – and social media should be no different.
- I realized I wasn’t sure what the path forward would look like, but I did begin to appreciate how much I love engaging with my community on social media
- I also came to see that I needed to create boundaries to “disconnect” regularly (Daily? Weekly? Monthly? Will the detox be an ongoing approach, similar to the way I do health resets? Hmmm… things to think about.)
Eventually, the hold social media had on me started to relax. Whole 4-hour periods in the day would go by where I wouldn’t even know where my phone was – and better yet, I didn’t even care to know! The core of my universe, my husband and daughter, were with me – and I began to realize that what I needed to be focused on was right in front of me.
I entered into this whole social media detox “experiment” as a way to keep my sanity in check. In reality, it produced some major breakthroughs… Like this one:
In all seriousness, I had a crucial observation:
The only ‘real’ moments are the ones that are actually happening in front of me… nothing else actually exists unless I choose to engage with it, and only I get to choose what to focus my energy on.
And another powerful thought:
Social media really is intangible, and sometimes we need to sit back and reflect on how much energy we’re expending, and how many thoughts / feelings we are having, because of this “thing” that isn’t even “real life”.
After a few weeks away?
Interestingly, after a full week away, I started to miss social media – particularly when it came to engaging with my community. It was nice to see and feel how much positive energy and inspiration they bring into my life! I also missed creating meaningful content. Sharing helpful tips, insights and stories (that are honest and authentic) is something I desperately crave, and it brings me so much connection and joy!
Of course, there were also a TON of things that I didn’t miss – but more on that in PART 3 of my detox, where I’ll break down my game-plan about how I’m engaging with social media in a more deliberate fashion – keeping healthy boundaries in mind! Stay tuned 🙂