Updated: Mar 9, 2020
As we near the end of January, the lion's share of the population is calling it quits on their new years resolutions. Though I'm an advocate for seeing goals to their completion, I too fall short and get distracted. I was brainstorming what exactly I wanted to write this week, and found myself feeling anxious and a bit frustrated. It wasn't until after I realized that I had been mindlessly scrolling the internet in search for something that didn't exist, it clicked. The negative emotions I was experiencing were a product of the inability / lack of self-control to stay off my phone. After accepting the reality that I'm another millennial addicted to social media, I logged out of my social app's and turned my phone to do not disturb for the day. The result from refraining was relief. I was less concerned about the happenings of strangers, I spent my time more focused and productive, and most importantly I was living in the moment. My relief lead me to the topic of this weeks Wellness Wednesday post. Weather it's limiting your screen time, taking a planned break from social media for a period of time, or ditching it completely - digital detoxing is imperative and incredibly sexy in the self-love department.
Now, don't get me wrong. I still scroll, post, lurk, and look at memes for far too long some days. Social media can be a useful tool. It connects us to distant loved ones, helps maintain friendships, enables new personal and professional contacts to be made, inspires the uninspired, and can disseminate important ideas. Like any tool though, it can shape the hand that holds it. So, my intention here is to remind whoever may read this that less is more.
Less Comparing = More Confidence
Ideally, an online community would make us feel connected and cared for. However, some of us leave these sites feeling some combination of envy, loneliness, frustration or anger by comparing our own lives to the lives of our peers. When you take a break from the show put online, those things you’ve accomplished that once felt small compared to your followers will now start to feel bigger and more fulfilling because the only person you’re comparing yourself to is you.
Less mindless social media = More meaningful social interaction
When I hangout with my comrades, I do so with the intent of engaging in conversation and spending quality time together. Though recently it's been quite difficult shaking the feeling of being inadequate in social scenarios. I know that I'm an enjoyable person to be around, but self-doubt creeps up when the people I choose to interact with are glued on their phones. Though this is my own personal experience, I believe being present is the most powerful thing a person can be and social media pulls us away from the experiences right in front of us. Life is so precious, and we often forget to truly stop and appreciate the rawness of it all. Next time you're spending time with a friend, family member, co-worker, lover, or whomever - try detaching and see how it feels to live in the moment.
Less screen time = More free time
Doesn't it feel like there aren't enough hours in a day to accomplish even the simplest to-do list? I know I personally feel this, and I can't think of anyone in my life who hasn't expressed the same. On average, a person will spend nearly two hours on social media everyday, which translates to a total of five years and four months spent over a lifetime. There are limitless activities in which can be accomplished over the course of over five years.