9 Lessons I Learned When I Gave Up Social Media For 30 Days
Social Media Break: Day 30
That’s a wrap, folks. I made it through 30 days of no social media (give or take a slip or two). Thank you for coming on this journey with me. I’ve learned a lot. See you over on the next challenge.
Haha, could you imagine if I left you hanging like that? Looking back over the last 30 days, I’ve learned:
- When you let go of obsessions, you recieve the gift of time.
- My kids are fun little humans.
- It is not only possible to survive without my phone, but I can thrive.
- Social Media addiction is real.
- In the nothingness, you can find inspiration.
- Scheduling focused time can give you freedom.
- Mindfulness allows space to find your passion.
- Not every selfie, picture or video has to be shared.
- Your habits directly influence your family.
Gift of Time ->
I never realized how much time I dedicated to being on my phone constantly checking my accounts to see if people were liking, commenting or messaging me. It was on and off all day but when I took this break, I opened up a world where I had more time to do the things I love, spend time with my family and take care of myself. I was wasting a lot of time and now I am mindful about even touching my phone.
Being Present with The Kids ->
Before this challenge, I would have my sidekick (i.e. my phone) with me wherever I went. It was a permanent attachment to my body. I would check it whenever there was a moment of downtime or was bored playing with my kids. Terrible, I know. I was never really present because my mind was pre-occupied by checking on other people’s lives. Now when I play with my kids, my focus is on the game or toy we are playing with because I am grateful they still want me to be with them. Bonus, I get to know them better and hear about their day.
Thrive not just Survive ->
There was no way I would ever leave my house without my phone. What if I needed it? At the beginning of last month, I couldn’t imagine life without it because I had become so accustomed to its presence. Then as I began to let go of social media, I was reminded of life back in high school when there were no cell phones (yes, I’m that old.). We would go everywhere, even long car trips with no outside communications or our parents at our fingertips. By George, we are still here today! Now, I am able to easily leave my phone plugged in for most of the day only taking it off if I know I’m expecting a phone call or need to talk with my hubby.
More than an Obsession ->
It was like I had no choice but to be plugged into social media at all times of the day. I had to make sure I responded to people nanoseconds after they commented. Checking my notifications became a part of who I was, unable to control my behavior. If I wasn’t on my phone, I was thinking about it. My mind was constantly distracted and I had a serious case of FOMO. Instead, I was missing out on my own life and neglecting the people I love. The moment that my body started giving me clues that it was time to take care of this was when I was constantly anxious, nervous, rushed and worried. I was basically a ticking time bomb waiting to go off because my patience had worn so thin.
Let Go of the Busy ->
Nothingness was not a word in my vocabulary. I lived for being busy and having a full calendar. My mind was always on when social media was the boss of my life. During this last month, I have done a 180 in terms of focus. The less I do, the more creative I become. I am able to calm myself down and be ok with the quiet times we have, just being us. With less obligations, I have spent the peaceful moments creating a life of simplicity and ease both inside and out.
Focus can set you Free ->
While I do enjoy the downtime and not feeling rushed, I do have things each day I want to accomplish. Removing all distractions like music, the internet and even the kids allows me to have some uninterrupted time during the day to hone in on my craft of writing. I am able to clear my mind of any other responsibilities because I have made this appointment to stay focused on the task at hand. Whenever something comes up to steer me away, I can easily recognize it and get back on track. I have written more this month than I have in an entire year. By working in chunks, I’ve been able to complete my website making it look exactly the way I want.
Find your Passion ->
I have known for a long time that writing was my thing. I ‘ve started a handful of books but never finished them. I let other things run my life and I’m not even talking about my family. I knew that writing a book was a big goal but I was not being intentional with my time. I still have the same responsibilities as before I started this challenge but now I am able to truly schedule in time to do what I love.
Keep the Most Important Things Sacred ->
There was no filter. A thought would pop into my head and seconds later I would see it written out on my screen. My kids would do something funny or weird and I would share it all over social media. They should be glad they didn’t hit puberty when I was sharing everything. Throughout the last four weeks, it’s given me opportunity to pause and think about if any given situation is post worthy. Is it more about the likes and comments I receive than how it could help benefit someone? I was really selfish about my posts even though I was being intentional. Most things in our personal life we can keep to ourselves.
My Habits Directly Affect My Children’s Habits ->
It was becoming too much. They were picking up on my bad habits and I thought is this what I want to teach them? No, I want them to experience life and not live behind a screen being subjected to ad after ad driving them towards a life full of materialism. I want them to be kids, using their imaginations, honing in on their talents, playing with each other, and getting outside more. The only way they will do this is if they see it first hand from me. If anything this challenge was all about their well being.
30 days later and my biggest takeaway is how truly happy and at peace I am with myself. My eyes were opened wide to the destructive path I was heading down. While I thought everything was good, I now realize how much better it can be. Moderation truly is a wonderful gift and too much of a good thing can stop you from actually LIVING your life.
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