It’s become an obsession, almost an addiction of sorts. When I wake up in the morning, I check it. All morning while I’m getting the kids ready for school, I check it. On the way to school (yes, even while driving), I check it. It is a semi-permanent attachment to my hand like a third appendage. Yes, I’m talking about my phone.
I have a pretty regular series of social media and app checking I do each time I put my thumb on my phone to turn it on. Facebook, Instagram, Insta-Stories, Facebook again to check notifications or see if there is something I “have” to respond to immediately and then probably Instagram one more time for good measure. Throw in a couple more apps from my phone and another round of checking social media and it’s been a good 10- 15 minutes of mindless scrolling. There is no rhyme or reason behind it except for the fact that I am obsessed with making sure everyone is responded to in a timely matter.
Yes, I know I have a people pleasing issue. I’ve been working on those for several years now.
Tracking the amount of likes or followers I have each day drives me to the brink of insanity. Sure, I gain more followers but am I cultivating real relationships or adding value to people’s lives?
I try and post something of value at once a day and sometimes a random thought here and there. It’s not even about being bored as much as it has become a habit that I must do. For the past 9 years, social media has become such a huge part of who I am and how I brand myself. Lately, I’ve been feeling a little overwhelm with keeping up with all the changing to make sure I am being seen by my target audience. It’s gotten to the point, where I feel so significant when people comment or like my posts and it shouldn’t be about me but the message. On the flip side, I am not genuinely commenting on other people’s posts. Sure, I comment with something relevant and not spammy but it’s all to beat the social media algorithm. If I don’t build rapport with people than my stuff will not get the exposure it needs to reach my niche.
Yes, it’s completely self centered.
I have also gotten really good at checking my phone and “listening” to others. I have been quite the hypocrite in my house. I tell my kids to turn off or pause their devices when they talk to me so I can look into their eyes but I have prided myself on being such a great multitasker that it’s ok if I am on my phone when talking to them.
Not So Much!
Did you know there is a switch where you can turn off notifications on your phone so you don’t know when someone comments or likes your post? I do and I turned it off a year or so ago. Guess what, it doesn’t really help. I still go in and manually check that little notification button within the apps…all the time. We have all become slaves to our devices at our house and I realized that change begins with me. I have to provide my children with a model of a person who doesn’t NEED to check her phone 100 or more times a day.
* A mom who wants to spend her time focused on them and pursuing her passions.
*A mom who is mindful about the time she spends on social media and the internet in general.
*A mom who wants to enjoy the moments instead of watching other people’s lives unfold before her.
*A mom who utilizes the internet and social media in a responsible and deliberate way, cultivating real relationships.
*A mom who will provide real value to everyone she meets and to her children.
For the next 30 days, I’m taking a social media hiatus.
- To deeply focus on my daily writing, pouring my story out onto paper, the good ol’ fashioned way.
- To break the bonds that social media has on me.
- To create a better relationship with social media so when I come back I am the one who is consciously adding value instead of adding to the noise.
This decision was not something I took lightly or that I’m doing for anyone other than myself and my family. I will be documenting my 30 day self discovery on my website as accountability. I want to cultivate relationship through my writing, still being a part of society and not shut myself off completely, so when you want to chat, you can reach me at my email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and always by phone if you have my number.
I am ready to accept this challenge that I have issued onto myself. It is a NINE year habit that needs to be broken and I’m excited to see what other changes come from this experiment. I know I can do anything for 30 days and yes, it will be hard but I’m up for it. The anxiety has already been building inside, but that means I need to do this. Please keep in touch via my website, email, in person or on the phone because harnessing real relationships is one of the main reasons I know I need this.
*Side note, it’s only been 12 hours since I took all the apps off my phone and I’ve already wanted to check them no less than 15 times. 7.5 of those hours I was sleeping…