So in my post about my new year goals (I hate the phrase “new year resolution”) I talked about fasting social media for a bit and let me be honest with you, that was a struggle.
Every January, my church fasts for 21 days. The Daniel fast (no meats, sweets, processed foods…) is usually suggested, but my family chooses to not eat from 12 am to 6pm. Every year I struggle with it. Food is super important to me, and any type of restrictions placed on me, just irritates me and makes me hangry. With that being said, it isn’t a surprise that I failed a few times.
The fasting of social media on the other hand, came from a place of desperation, after a 3 am battle with comparison and feeling inadequate. Literally with tears of frustration and sadness, I deleted twitter, facebook, instagram and snapchat off of my phone. In the morning, when the rest of my household was awake, I asked my sister to change my password on facebook and my settings on my iphone, so that I wouldn’t be tempted.
As a society, social media has become so ingrained into our daily schedule. The first thing I do when I wake up is check all of my notifications. During family devotions, I catch my self scrolling through my instagram feed (Lord forgive me), at work when we’re waiting for patients, I’m on twitter and snapchat. instead of studying, I’m on tumblr, and pinterest. It’s bad.
For the first week and a half, I used online shopping to fill the void (don’t worry, I didn’t buy anything) and read a lot of news articles (something that I had cut back on because it was making me depressed and fearful) but I was really struggling. Then I downloaded candy crush again and basically put that in the place of social media. I forced myself to do some self analyzing and I realized that the problem was that I didn’t want to feel left out, or feel like life was going on without me. For some reason, social media had become the main way that I communicated with people, and without it, I seemed to have forgotten how to interact with others and enjoy being in the moment. I’ve learned a few lessons from that time.
- Social media should be used to add to your communication with those in your life, not be the only source. Its important to ask people how they are doing face to face, instead of creeping on statuses and profiles for information.
- There is a peace of mind that comes from not always having information at the tips of your fingers. Some of my friends call me their informant, because I’m too observant and nosy for my own good. If I see something that’s off to me, I will research until I have an answer. While its kind of nice to know and notice things, its stressful to try to filter which info should be kept in and which can be shared. People have a tendency to be too open on social media without realizing that others notice. If you need to know about something or someone, you’ll find out because the person will tell you, and if not…mind your own business.
- Social media makes comparison too easy. We’re already a society that compares each other and picks at each other. There’s no reason why you should voluntarily subject yourself to that. Everyone more or less, displays a controlled view of themselves on social media, so what you think you see, isn’t necessarily the truth
- You can be a lot more productive without that distraction. I listened more, I read more books, I watched more movies, I studied more (kind of), I enjoyed moments with people that I hadn’t been doing before and my mind was clearer. Not all the time flood your brain, sometimes let it relax.
- Not everything needs to be documented. This speaks for itself. Enjoy life without feeling like it has to be instagrammed or snapchatted. It makes one less self conscious and again, lets you enjoy the moment. I can’t count how many times I picked up my phone to take a selfie or snapchat something…I started to feel like the vainest person on earth.
So now that I’m back on social media, I’ve decided that while having it is useful for now ( I’m part of a committee that is planning a conference) changing how I use it, is important. So i will be spending less time snooping on social media, and more time being in the moment. Now I just need to get back on that workout goal.
So what are you addicted to, and how can you change it?