a day without social media

One Day Without Social Media

Social media is incredible. It lets us keep in touch with people across the world who we’d probably never see or speak to again.

Social media is also a distraction. I don’t think we realize how much of a distraction, but think of all the things you could do today if you didn’t spend hours scrolling, posting, pinning, and re-tweeting. Seriously, it’s a lot. I tried it.

 

One day last week I decided to do a social media fast for a few reasons:

  • Social media is a HUGE distraction for me, and it takes up much more time than I’d like to admit. It’s embarrassing. I don’t want to tell you.
  • It can also be dangerous. I’m really good at the comparison game, and I usually win. It’s that game in which you look at everyone else’s (pixellated) life and deem their jobs, homes, cars, vacations, wardrobes, and overall lifestyles better than yours. It breeds discontentment and a lack of gratitude. People who forget how blessed/lucky they are are great at Your Life vs. Mine because everything else looks better than what they already have. But what they have is pretty great, too, and it’s usually just right for them.
  • Comparison games aside, social media can be depressing. Come on, you know what I’m talking about. Have you ever stalked an ex or an old friend, or found out someone un-friended you (that arse!), or basically just stared at the screen so long that it began to change your brain chemistry? (Can that happen?) Don’t try to pretend you haven’t done it, too. You know all about that screen-induced-depression-stupor. Coffee doesn’t help.

    cute black cat wants attention
    Like most cats, Black Sabbath prefers to be the center of attention.
  • Social media keeps me from moving forward. You know, the whole distraction thing again. I don’t get my work/writing done because I’m too busy reading about how other people get their work/writing done, admiring their blogs and pretty websites and wondering why I don’t make a full-time income from my books yet. I just have to remind myself that I’m getting there in my own time.
  • My cat gets annoyed when I pay more attention to my laptop than to her. She finds way after way to put herself in front of me no matter what I’m doing, especially if I’m zombing out in front of Pinterest for the second hour in a row. (I don’t really do that.)

So now you’re wondering (I know you, I do) what happened when I fasted from social media for a day:

  • I cleaned the house. I do this anyway because of my OCD/retentive nature, and I can’t stand having a ton of clutter strewn about, but I actually had time to clean instead of rushing through it all in a frenzy of stress so I could get back to work.
  • I went outside. I used to go outside all the time. On walks, to sit and read, to get some good old fashioned vitamin D. Now I’m a Snow White/vampire hybrid who grimaces suspiciously at the sun when it gets in my eyes.
  • I planted tulip bulbs in the front yard. In a burst of uncharacteristic inspiration a few weeks ago, The Husband and I purchased bulbs for the yard because he knows I LOVE flowers and think the front of our house, while quaint, is still incredibly boring. This was great until I actually had to plant the bulbs. The gyrating earthworms and the squirrels pelting acorns at me from the tree reminded me that I don’t actually like gardening. Nope, hate it. Laugh if you will, but I’m a pansy, and I’m perfectly happy to buy my flowers fresh to set in a vase on the kitchen windowsill.
  • I went to the gym and exercised everything, not just my fingers. (Those are in pretty good shape anyway.)
  • I wrote more than I have in weeks.
  • I ate three full meals without once looking at my phone. Granted the TV was still on, but hey, baby steps.
  • Instead of procrastinating on tasks I didn’t want to do, I just did them. Simple. I didn’t open a new tab or make a new Spotify playlist instead. I hit “compose”, wrote the email, and sent it. Five minutes. Done.
  • I practiced my ukulele. Finally!
  • I drew. I sketched. I made a greeting card. And I’m not even an artist! Amazing things can happen when you unplug.
  • Instead of relying on a pin or shared post for our dinner recipe, I made up my own. Yep, I relied on my foodtuition (heh heh), and I even wrote the recipe in my Notebook of Original Recipes, right next to the cookie recipe. And the other cookie recipe.

    burlap bird wedding cake topper
    The Husband made our cake topper with burlap and an unfair dose of creativity.
  • I felt less stressed by my surroundings. The Husband is an artist at heart (in, like, every possible way. He even made the cake topper for our wedding. It’s not fair.) He’s a musician, but he also designs and prints t-shirts, and his command center is generally the dining room table. We end up with a lot of ink, test shirts, scissors, packing peanuts, rotary blades, and other miniature weapons scattered across the table, the kitchen counters, and the floor. Neat freak though I am, it didn’t stress me out. Instead, I felt grateful to share space with such a creative soul, and I hoped his natural inclinations for art/creation/invention would soon rub off on me.
  • I was just in a better mood. Part of me wondered what I was missing when I saw notifications in my inbox, but then again, knowing I was free for the day was sweeter than anything.

Lesson learned? Social media is a gift that allows us to do so many awesome things, but it shouldn’t dominate our habits or our days. It should be an option, not an obligation. It’s about finding the right balance and keeping it simple, that’s all.

Have you ever given up social media for a day or more? Tell me about your experience in the comments below!


One Day Without Social Media from TheBlissfulPoet.com / social media, work at home, work at home jobs, simple living, moderate minimalism

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