Social Media Detox

From time to time, I detox from things. Caffeine and social media being the primary contenders. Caffeine being the more difficult of the two by far. Target, online shopping and alcohol all made appearances in my early 20s, too.

When I was younger, I remember telling my sister I never wanted to use Carmex, because I'd heard you could get addicted to it. And, if I were addicted and it got discontinued, I'd be in trouble because I'd rely on it. 

So young. So wise.

Kidding. More like so young, already wrestling with anxiety and the need to be in control. 

Recently, I've taken a few weekends to do social media detoxes. I get frustrated by the way a tiny screen and even tinier heart can take over my day and spread their ink across the pages of my life - seeping into my relationships, focus and self worth. 

A few weeks ago, Chris and I heard Mike Foster speak at Plywood People in Atlanta. He was incredible and his story moved us both in different ways. 

Something he said that really stuck with me was that we're all in a hurry to matter. 

It hit home for me as I wrapped up my detox, realizing that social media does just that. It gives us a false sense of what really matters. It allows us to believe that influence over followers is more important than influence and connection with the people right in front of us. It allows us to believe that how much we matter online is tied to how much we matter as humans. 

This is dangerous. If our worth is tied up in anything external, it can be quickly taken away, leaving us wondering why we don't matter as much as we thought we did. Leaving us wondering who we are and what we're worth.

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After two full detoxes, here are a few takeaways:

1. I am addicted to input

Once I took away the input of social media, I found myself trying to fill it with texts, email, podcasts and music. I realized how little space I reserve for silence, stillness.

2. I don't love my phone that much

Once social media was gone, it sort of felt like a hassle. Once I settled into the sanctity of silence, I realized I didn't want to check my phone as much. It felt more like a burden than play.

3. It's frustrating when you're not checking your phone and someone else is

I found myself wanting to say "no worries, I'll wait" a lot more when people would check texts while also listening to me. It's amazing how, a habit that I was employing 48 hours earlier became frustrating the minute I stopped.

4. I am more at ease without social media

I felt more focused on conversion, more relaxed and more balanced in general when I didn't have my phone with me all the time. I felt less anxious, too.

But!

5. I missed my friends

I noticed that, since we all document our lives online, we don't feel the need to update each other as much as we once did. Normally, I know what my long distance friends are doing on the weekends, because they're posting about it and sending me Snaps. I could have easily texted them to ask, but, I noticed we all assume we're caught up on each other's online lives. It gives us a sense of being in touch. 

6. The cool stuff we do still counts, even when we don't post it online

Did you really even go on a date if you don't share it online? Do all the cool things we do still count if nobody knows about them?

Yes.

But, it's easy to forget that when we constantly showcase our every move on the internet. It felt sort of refreshing to go on a date and not take a photo. But, I also missed sharing it, because I tend to love the likes.

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Will I quit social media forever?

Nah, not right now. But, the detoxes reminded me to seek balance with it and remember that the real world is typically more exciting than the online world, if we open up our eyes to see it. Less is more when it comes to daily input and I don't think we ever regret simplifying. 

PS: If you haven't already, I highly recommend unroll.me to mass unsubscribe from emails. It's amazing! For a while, it stopped working, but it's BACK!