Oh, the Things I Will Do
Last Monday a friend of mine made a suggestion, and I immediately said “No!” and gave all the “reasons” why. But the thought never left me and I kept mulling it over. Then on Sunday morning I had another external nudge in the same direction. That was all I needed to leave my comfort zone and jump in headfirst: a 10-day social media “fast,” which for me means no Facebook, and Instagram. The internal motivation to do this is a desire for more clarity, peace, and calm in my mental space.
When the impulse to quickly check Facebook or Instagram hit me, I wanted to be prepared. I wrote a list of other things I could substitute it with. The list includes things such as:
- Reading good books
- Writing in my journal
- Colouring and crafts
- Moving my body
- Consuming good content from certain radio and TV stations
- Chatting with a friend
I also downloaded a gratitude journal and I have had such a great time using it. It’s simple, easy to use, and I love adding a picture-of-the-day to it.
It’s interesting to me that this “fast” is not as hard as I anticipated it to be, considering my initial resistance. But then again, just the idea of my resistance to not using social media is ridiculous! Why would I feel like I can’t live without it, when it wasn’t present in my life until about 10 years ago?
This experience helps me question things and gives me an opportunity to see the impulses, which leads me to use social media with more clarity; I have become quite habitual in my daily use of social media. Often it’s simply boredom that makes me check what’s new in the world. At times, I do so even when I’m watching something on TV. Sometimes I want to connect socially. Other times I want to zone out mentally and relax for a moment, to see something different. Or I want to see how many likes I got for a new Instagram post. What’s up with those likes anyway? Why do I feel like it adds to my contentment, when other people like my posts?
Is it really the best way to search for the fulfillment of my needs for connection, appreciation, and relaxation on social media? The answer is a clear no, but I have to admit I have unconsciously tried just that, and wondered why I feel discontent. Now, with having willfully disconnected for only a few days my craving to have more off time, more “analog” fulfillment of those needs has become clearer. I can already see how my mind is a little more calm with less “extra” input of information, and there is definitely more clarity as well.
When I rejoin the social media world again next week I want to stay conscious of its use. I will regularly check in with myself to see how I am trying to satisfy my needs. I will keep my visual list of beautiful resources to remain clear, calm, peaceful, and content. Social media is not the bad guy in this story; it’s a great new technology. But I want to give its proper place, so it can be beneficial for myself and others!