Social media can be the devil, do you feel me?
Now don’t get me wrong, it has some really great benefits too. I too am one of those social sellers that will use Facebook and Instagram as my platform to introduce products. It reaches a large audience of people who I do not interact with on a regular basis in person, and pretty much everyone I know uses at least one of these.
It is also a neat way to keep tabs on family that you do not get to see often. You get to see pictures of their children, their new houses, new cars, vacations and time spent with other family members that you never see either. Checking someone’s Facebook page and seeing the time and location of their recent posted picture or status somehow makes you feel like you are part of their life.
Social media can also be a great way to burn some mindless energy. I follow some bloggers that post about the newest trends and styles with regards to fashion and interior design. I tend to scroll and scroll and scroll just reading about what people are doing in their lives, whether I know them or not. Cause ya know, once your mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, before you know it you are pages and pages deep from clicking and clicking and have made it to some random person that your high school math class buddy’s cousin’s sister was dating when they lived in Australia’s page. And somehow, you are just as engrossed as if you were on your husband’s page looking at your smiling children.
This past weekend I had the great fortune of spending a weekend in the Berkshires. I was without children, without my husband and with virtually no one that I knew. I was in an environment where cell phones were not completely banished, but there were only certain areas where they were permitted. IT WAS FREAKING AMAZING.
Putting my cell phone away for the weekend was one of the more freeing things I have ever done. I feel so ridiculous even saying that, but it’s true. I feel like the connection to my cell phone, which is in turn a connection to social media, can be so poisoning for me.
The amount of time I waste alone on my phone is just absolutely absurd. My husband always tells me I surpass his data each month, by A LOT, but I always get defensive. But it’s true. Guilty as charged.
What I realized is that the time spent cruising social media and diving over my head into other people’s lives, leaves me feeling so empty. It takes me into what appears to be all these perfect and ideal situations that I do not have in my own life, and I start to not like my life or something.
I think that my life should somehow be different, because ya know, Jane Smith’s kids are really well dressed, and eat home cooked meals every night, and bring goody bags to school on special holidays, and then have a perfect evening routine that consists of no tv, only crafts, a lovely bedtime order of business that always involves reading books. And oh, they brush their teeth every night too.
Being in a situation that did not support a need for cell phones was just super cool. I ate meals in a dining room with hundreds of other people who also were not on their phones. They were either silently enjoying a meal solo like me, or were actually (get this!), having an actual conversation with another person! I hiked, without walking the whole way taking pictures and texting. I took a yoga class, and meditated (a lot) and had really deep and meaningful conversation with some neat people.
Most importantly though, I was not being stuffed full like Thanksgiving dinner with messages about not being good enough. I reached deep inside and got to know myself a little better. It made me realize there are so many more meaningful and satisfying things I could be doing, with myself or with my family and loved ones, that would make me so much more present and open.
I encourage everyone to put the cell phone and social media down when you can, take a deep breath, and get to know yourself.