MY RELATIONSHIP WITH SOCIAL MEDIA
In order to understand the breakup, you first need to understand my relationship with social media because it was a close/tight/committed/dependent one. Like, I could spend aaaaallllllll afternoon, evening and night mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest (I really had all bases covered). It was the first thing I attended to in the morning and the last thing I spent doing at night. It made me late to work, skip skincare and makeup routines, forego scheduled gym sessions, miss out on quality time with friends and family, and my neck wrinkles real pronounced (spending hours with your chin tucked down is not exactly conducive to great posture and youthful looking skin). Couldn’t sleep in the middle of the night? No worries! I’d grab my phone and scroll through Instagram for two hours aka it was really messing with my sleep hygiene. My beloved books and magazines gathered dust on their shelves because why enrich my mind with worthwhile literature when I could check out the avocado toast my best friend’s sister’s college roommate was eating? It really was a pathetic relationship. Maybe the worst one I’ve ever had (and I’ve had some doozies!).
Obviously, it was time to breakup. I needed my freedom, hobbies, and health back. So I cut things off with social media on a random Monday night; I deleted my Twitter and Facebook apps and refused to even consider clicking on the cute little Instagram and Pinterest apps in my phone (Instagram and Pinterest
are were my favorite of the bunch, making it harder to completely cut those out of my life). And here’s what happened:
I FOUND MORE TIME
Yes, I found the answer to finding more of that allusive “time” as in “ahh if only there was more time in the day!”. (Rearrange your priorities and tweak your schedule and I promise you’ll find it, too.) For instance, instead of spending the first 30 minutes of being awake laying in bed and checking up on what I could have possibly missed out on during the middle of night (hint: nothing), I get right out of bed and now have ample time to walk my dog, make breakfast and coffee, and put on some makeup. Shoot, I even have time to do my hair some mornings now. Even if you spend 5-10 minutes on social media here and there, it can really add up without realizing it, taking away chunks of time that could be spent doing something more relaxing, productive, fun, (actually) social, etc.
I READ MORE OF EVERYTHING
News articles, psychology journals, fashion magazines, fiction novels and self-help books – you name it, I’ve been reading it. Since I can remember, I’ve always been a voracious reader and consider it one of my very favorite hobbies (next to shopping, of course). Sadly, my obsessive relationship with social media took that away from me, BUT I’m proud to say I’m back to my bookworm ways.
I STAY IN THE MOMENT
When you don’t have your phone to use as a mindless distraction, you’re forced into the moment and therefore can be more present. Have you ever been out to lunch with someone who was on their phone the entire time, not really engaging in conversation or even bothering to look at you? I have, and it doesn’t feel great, but what does feel great is valuing the here and now, your relationships, and actual face time with people (or animals, whatevs 😉 ).
I BECAME DAMN PRODUCTIVE
At work, at home, on the weekends, my productivity is on the rise. This obviously comes easier with more time found in the day, but I think once you start being a little productive, it’s easier to become more and more so. Ya know the whole “an object in motion stays in motion” thing totally applies here. So, instead of going back to sit on the couch to check every nook and cranny of my social media accounts after I’m done say, vacuuming, now, because I don’t have that option, I might go on to do laundry, cook a healthy meal, water the plants, go to the gym (okay, maybe not there quite yet, but you get the point).
I COMMUNICATE MORE INTENTIONALLY
Sure, Facebook can be great at keeping up with your Great Aunt in Albuquerque, but does it really help foster connections with our loved ones? Since I gave it up, I’ve found myself using my phone more for what it’s original intended use was – actually calling or even texting someone directly to see how their vacation was, what their plans are for the weekend, and to share a bit of what’s going on in my life. I think depending on social media to keep us connected with others creates a false sense of being social, having a support system, and really knowing your friends and family. It only provides a snapshot and doesn’t take the place of having a fulfilling and direct conversation or visit with someone.
I STOPPED COMPARING
You know what happens when you stop comparing your body, sense of style, vacations, relationships, home, and how you’re spending your Friday night to everyone else? You start living for and doing things for you and give yourself a greater chance at really being content with who you are and where you’re at. Now, instead of feeling bad about why I’m not out to eat at the trendy sushi restaurant in the same cute outfit as my friend’s cousin is, I focus on myself and what I actually want to be wearing, feeling, and doing. And damn, it feels good to be selfish.
WE’RE STILL FRIENDS
So after I didn’t go near any social media for quite some time, I started to give more thought into how I wanted to handle it all going forward. I realized this would require shifting my perspective and intentionally scheduling out times to use it if I wanted to, not just because I was in an out of control, habit with it. If I do have the desire to share a picture or scope out what everyone is up to, I set a purposeful intention for it, do it for a very limited amount of time, and be done with it. And you know what I’ve noticed? The less I do it, the less I want to or even think to. After all, who really stays that close to an ex after a breakup?
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