For the past several weeks, I've been really thinking about unplugging from social media. Not entirely, but mostly. I've already drastically reduced the amount of time I spend from what it used to be, but it's still a lot. I feel like I'm a prisoner of social media at times. I don't want to miss out. I don't want to not know what is going on. It's so draining, y'all.
What has led me to want to take this seemingly drastic step?
My mind needs rest. Information comes in at all times from all sides when it comes to social media. It's a never-ending loop, with no end in sight and it's seriously draining. While I am guilty of multi-tasking on many occasions, I don't believe we were made to be in a constant state of multi-tasking, which is what happens when we're back and forth from one platform to another, all while trying to live in the real world. It's exhausting. And I need a break.
My emotions need to recharge. Is there anything more draining than social media (other than in-laws...)? Because of the nature of Twitter, Instagram, and all the rest, conversations tend to be rapid-fire, which means our words are not always guarded and emotions can escalate quickly. It's so easy to go from angry to happy to sad to happy to angry again all in the span of thirty minutes. I need to detox from all of the emotional shifts and turns that come with the constant barrage of news, videos, opinions, and images.
I want to be in the moment. The nature of Twitter and Instagram is that we are always aware of what we are doing and whether or not we want to post it. And then we worry about what other people will think if we do post it. We post things expecting to get a favorite or a comment or a like - Oh y'all. I don't even want to think about what affect that has on our self-esteem. But more than that, constantly thinking about what we are going to post means that our focus is not on the people we are with at the time. When we are with someone, we need to really *be* with him/her.
I am not that important. As much as I love interacting and connecting online, I'm guessing the Internet will continue without me. I have made so many amazing connections with wonderful people via social media, and I want to continue to nurture those. But feeling like we have to be connected to some form of the Internet at all times is not healthy.
I'm not leaving social media altogether (I'd feel like I lost some wonderful friends!), but I am going to start being more selective about which platforms I use and where I spend my time. I want more of my time to be spent in life, not online. I want to foster relationships and connections, not be bombarded with 47 news outlets. I don't want to have to feel like I have to have my phone with me in order to function.
And if y'all know me at all, you know that I have a list of goals I want to accomplish by unplugging.
Perspective. I don't want to care about who may not like something I post. I don't want to care why someone unfollowed or commented negatively. In the big picture, those things don't matter at all. What matters is the thoughts, opinions, and feedback of those who know me or who are coming from a place of sincerity. I don't want to spend all day in a bad mood because I saw someone post something that irritated me.
Focus. I want to be able to focus on whatever it is I am doing - blogging, emails, projects, work - and not worry about looking at my phone every time I see it light up. Whatever I am doing or whoever I am with deserves my full attention. And honestly, I'm tired of something that should take 20 minutes taking 2 hours. I've found myself spending the past two weeks wondering where the time went and feeling like I hadn't accomplished anything by the end of the day. It's because I always seem to have a Twitter tab open and my phone where I can see it. It has to stop.
Living. I don't want to live through my phone. I want to live through experiences and people in my life.
Freedom. There is so much freedom in letting go. The people who care about what you do and why you do it, they'll be there. The ones who have jumped on board for the wrong reasons, they'll probably disappear. And that's okay. There is freedom in feeling like I can be myself and to embrace whatever that might look like on any given day without worrying about keeping up appearances.
What Matters Most. Taking some time to get away will give me time to focus on what matters most. Relationships. Family. Faith. Connections. Future projects. I can reclaim the hours in the day lost on social media to focus on the things that set my heart on fire.
I'm not even going to begin to kid myself into thinking this is going to be easy. It's an addiction. And with addiction comes withdrawal and recovery. Although I can take a bit of comfort in knowing that I'm not leaving completely, or permanently. I'm just re-prioritizing and re-focusing and taking back control of my life.
Have you unplugged? I'd love to hear any advice you have!
This post is part of the 31 Days of Intention series. You can see other posts in this series here.