How do you know when something isn't serving you any more?
This is what I had been asking myself for a couple of weeks before realising that I really needed to change something about the way I was using social media.
Social media is so entwined these days. If you google something, suddenly you're seeing ads for it on Facebook. Upon waking you automatically click the little camera app (Instagram!) to see what the people you're following internationally got up to while you were sleeping. You sit down to eat lunch and automatically start scrolling. Quick go in to Snapchat so you can film your kid eating! Is there a discount code going for your favourite clothes shop? Just check their Insta stories!
Social Media seems to be entwined in to every part of our modern day living. Wether it's posting a new perfectly positioned picture, catching up on what the people we are following have been up to, checking if there were any engagement announcements over Valentine's Day or even what someone is up to on their island holiday - we always have to be in the loop.
When I started to feel really dejected about what I was seeing on my daily social media feed, I knew something had to change. My love for sharing what I was up to on a daily basis was dwindling, and the constant need to check what others were up to was getting suffocating. I toyed with the idea of a social media detox for a while, and wondered if I could even handle it. What if something happened and I missed it? How would I know a sale was on at my favourite kids clothing store? What if I was invited to an event and missed it because I didn't see the invite? What if I had a question for the Mums group I'm in but couldn't get any replies?
Like everything in my life - if I didn't try then I would never know.
If nothing changes, nothing changes.
The weekend I decided I would begin the detox we were in Auckland visiting friends. I was mindful about how many times I wanted to pull my phone out and document what was happening. Because I had to share what I was up to! I wasn't just sitting at home all weekend I was actually doing stuff! But I would catch myself and think "what am I missing by being behind my phone? " and "do I really need to record this? Why can't I just be in the moment and enjoy it?". All valid responses, and I bet you can guess what filled my cup up the most! (hint: not pulling my phone out!)
So that Sunday evening I decided it would be my last evening spent scrolling for a little while. I had no pre-conceived idea about how long I would not be on SM for, but I thought I'd see how I went for a week. The next morning I deleted the Facebook and Instagram apps from my phone - and I instantly felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders! I felt no regret and got up and went about my day as normal.
I felt there was no need to look at my phone, and when I DID unlock my phone out of habit I was like, there's nothing for me to be doing on here. There was no alert or notification on any app, begging me to open it and see what "needed" my attention.
I stopped taking my phone everywhere, as I no longer felt a need to be able to document something if it happened. Instead, I was a lot more present in the moment. I gave Toby more of my attention and I mean full attention. When we went outside I would watch what he was doing, and try to see the backyard in his eyes. I was more productive with urgent jobs, and found I was no longer side tracked by scrolling aimlessly. My evenings weren't spent glued to my phone, instead we played cards, or watched MAFS or worked on our business.
I probably haven't taken many photos in the last 6 or so weeks, and that's one thing I like about SM is that there are quick candid photos in my insta stories that are nice to look back on. What I HAVE done is read like 3 books! I love reading and I love getting hooked on a good book so instead of scrolling when feeding Toby to sleep I just read on my kindle instead.
Coming back to using SM regularly I decided I needed some boundaries in place for myself. I don't want to go back to feeling how I was a couple of months ago, so what I've done is: - A massive friends and follwers cull. If there's someone or something that doesn't spark joy then a simple unfollow or unfriend click was done.
- No phone use from 8pm to 8am. This means no scrolling first thing in the morning when I wake up and instead wake up slowly. Also no scrolling at night when I could be winding down from the day.
- A social media free day a week. Every Friday night I delete the Facebook and Instagram apps so that on Saturday I am not tempted in any way to go on them. Then, if I remember, I download them again on Sunday mornings.
- Removed any expectations of myself and what I want to share. This is a biggie and something I possibly should have considered awhile ago. The tiny squares on someones social media should not be taken too seriously. It's a highlight reel of their life and what really goes on doesn't always get shown. Therefore, I need to stop comparing my life to anyone else's, and instead live mine however I want to. In saying that I intend to be as open, honest and raw as I'm comfortable with, so many of you can hopefully relate in one way or another.
- I've turned off all notifications for Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. There's nothing more demanding than seeing and hearing a notification noise and also little numbers alongside the apps on your phone. It's like a massive "Click Me!" or "Quick you're missing out!" sign waving in your face when you're in the middle of doing something that needs your attention.
- Use my time on social media more wisely. Without giving away too much info this is an exciting expansion of the Just Live brand that I'll be sharing with you all very soon. It's a new way I can help MORE of you live your best life. It's tried and tested (by me and soooo many others) and I can't wait to show you all the benefits involved.
Needless to say, I have missed seeing what everyone is up to on social media. There's everyday mamas like myself who I have found a virtual bond with, and I love seeing what they get up to with their babes.
It's good to be back :)
PGD Part 3
December 5, 2018
Why do we do what we do, when we know what we know?