A little bit ago I wrote a blog about what I do to unplug. They were a few different unconventional things, but I have also done one really large unconventional thing; I have completely unplugged from social media. This may not sound too unconventional in this day and age, because so many people go on social media hiatus’ for 24 hours, a week, a month, sometimes longer. The difference here is that I have not put a time on it. I have no intention of really ever going back. The only social media that I am connected to is the Instagram account for this blog and that is because it is something that brings joy into my life and something that I want to keep going. This platform has served as an unsung healer in my life and I hope it has done the same for others, but back to the topic at hand.
I have touched on an event that happened a few months ago, a fateful camping trip, the events leading up to this day were a lot more impactful than I could ever fathom. I’m talking years of events. In my ‘Unfuckwithable’ blog I spoke about how I am an empath and feel a little differently than some others might. This became extremely apparent as tears were pouring down my cheeks, driving away from the campsite.
I remember being a kid and growing up in a time of land lines and answering machines. A time when you had to ride your bike to your friend’s house to go play, or make a date and keep the obligation. A time when you didn’t ‘thumbs up’ or ‘heart’ what someone wrote, but actually told them how you felt, face-to-face. This was a time of true human interaction. This is what this world is currently lacking.
*I am not here to preach and if anything I say offends you, I am sorry in advance.*
Social media has definitely opened a lot of doors for a lot of different purposes, but it has also become a crutch for human interaction. No one needs to really call anyone or go visit anyone anymore because you can open your account and see how any one’s life is going or has been. At least that’s the façade that is portrayed. You actually don’t get to know any one, really. You get to see the parts they want you to see. The parts of themselves that are good enough for the public’s eye. Why is it that you wouldn’t want anyone to read your diary, but you are okay with everyone knowing where you are, what you are doing with your day, etc. For a long time I did this.
I put pressure on myself to share my world and thoughts. I stressed about whether or not someone was going to like my post, or even worse, become offended by something. I found myself Facebook stalking ghosts from my past just to see how their lives were, but why did that matter? Why did any of it matter? Don’t get me wrong, I loved seeing uplifting posts and friends, family, acquaintances achieving their goals, but it all became to much. Social media became a job, a chore, a burden, a curse.
I kept telling myself that I would just leave my phone in the other room so I wouldn’t be tempted to look at it. That failed. I told myself that I would take a break for 24 hours, a week, a month, etc. That didn’t work. I told myself I would delete it off my phone and then I could only look at it on my computer. That didn’t work. I also made excuses for reasons I couldn’t delete my accounts. Where would I share the pictures of my kids? How can I delete it when people want to see my life? How would I be able to keep up with people? Would people think I was weird? The list goes on and on.
Here’s what I have learned so far.
It’s really hard to break old habits. I am now at the point where I only look at my phone a few times a day instead of every other five minutes.
If you want to know how someone is doing it’s as easy as calling them and asking the question, starting the conversation. This also means a lot more to people then a ‘thumbs up’ or ‘heart’ on a post.
If someone has a question about your kids or your life they can ask. You then have the choice to share as much or as little with them.
Some people do in fact think I am weird. I have had many, “why would you ever do that?!” I am okay with this because I didn’t do it for them, I did it for me and my children and my life and my future.
I am neither obligated nor required to photograph my kids and my life every single day. Yes, this was a very real feeling. Now I can actually live in the moment and enjoy my time. I take photos when they are truly meaningful and I am planning on putting them in a photo album for myself and the kiddos.
I have waaaaaay more time on my hands. Which nowadays is a good thing considering I am transcribing, blogging, wifeing, and momming.
I don’t miss it. I truly don’t. I feel much less anxiety over what people might post, or if someone will be or is mad at me, or if someone is going to randomly hit me up and dredge up the past, etc. So many what if’s and what could happen’s that were completely unnecessary, but so very real.
I’m sure there will be many more lessons that come along with this as I am slowly finding myself more and more. I have no regrets so far, except one; why didn’t I do this earlier?