So…I took the plunge. My husband and I decided to take a social media break. We deactivated our Facebook accounts and got rid of the Instagram and Facebook apps on our phones.
We both just agreed that we are on our phones WAYY too much. Not just us, but most people are these days and we just both wanted to be more present with each other and for our children.
I’m sure we will both be back eventually, and oh the irony of starting a blog when I have no way of currently sharing it via social media. This may have been what pushed me to do it, though. Having this now month-long break has been a great reflection for me, personally. It has actually been so nice to unplug.
Let’s start from the beginning. I joined Facebook back in 2008. At that time it was like another MySpace, but different. I personally enjoyed Myspace more at the time because of the fact that you could customize your page more with options to build your own page with HTML, videos, music, graphics, GIF’s, etc. Anyway, the world switched to Facebook and there I was just clicking on it once in a while to post some silly thing about my life or whatever.
Flash forward to a few years later, and now it’s become like an addiction. Yes, it is a way of connecting with family and friends – which is great! Especially to someone like me who lives thousands of miles away from most of my family and friends. Yes, it is a way of obtaining news fast and basically a “one stop shop” for it – awesome! Yes, it is a great tool for connecting with people in the community, buying, selling, marketing, etc. Yes, there are great videos and stories of good people, cute animals, and babies. And for all of the above mentioned social media can be absolutely wonderful.
But, there are some major downfalls. When we allow ourselves to be consumed with it, it can definitely create problems with the tangible relationships around us. Not only that, but when you have children it is a huge distraction from spending the precious time we have, with them. It can be toxic for spreading false narratives, intentions, news, etc. It can create this false sense of social connection with people, when really you are only connected at a very superficial level with things like likes and comments.
In my personal opinion, I think that it’s totally fine to have social media (I plan on going back eventually). I think that it’s also fine to take time for yourself and check the news, up with friends, etc. I just think it comes down to how much it is being done. Everything really comes down to balance. Balance is everything.
Since deactivating our social media accounts, I feel peaceful. I don’t really know what’s going on with anyone or in the world (lol). But, it’s kind of nice, actually. Less to stress or worry about honestly. Ignorance is bliss, right? I also feel closer to my husband and more present with him and our children. I feel like I have more time to do things with them or around the house, for myself (like this), etc. and that is really nice.
I have taken breaks before this one. But this one is different. This time, I felt that it had become a problem in my life. In our lives. It was starting to consume us both. My husband and I both didn’t like it or who we had become, and even though we have a “no phones during dinner” policy in our house, it really wasn’t enough.
Moving forward, we agreed that when we do decide to bring our accounts back we will establish more boundaries as to hopefully not get to where we were before.
What I learned in all of this:
- I was much more addicted than I thought- I had to delete the apps because out of habit my finger would just try to open up FB or Insta. Smdh.
- Sometimes it’s good to take a break from something that is consuming you.
- It’s important to stop and reassess ourselves every once in a while. To try and be a better person than we were the day before.
- To be more present – Make an effort and put energy into what we care about and less energy into the things that really don’t matter. In the grand scheme of things, the time spent with those we care about is more important than anything else. While it is so very important to take time out for ourselves and unwind with a little scrolling through social media isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it really comes down to how often you are having to “check in”. It’s not going anywhere. You aren’t missing anything if you don’t check it every hour or even every day.
- To be more REAL – With myself and others. Likes and Comments and Followers don’t really mean sh*t in the real world.
- I like myself more when I’m not allowing something else to control me – Who wouldn’t? It’s self-defeating to know that you are allowing something else to take a hold of you and dictate your life in ways.
- Balance is everything – Creating boundaries is important. For all of the positive aspects about social media it can be great! I actually love it for sharing and seeing pictures with friends and family, music, good news, funny memes and/or pictures/videos, marketing. I think it is one of the best free networking and free marketing tools out there for small businesses especially. For what’s it is good for I do love it. And so, finding that balance is everything. I am looking forward to creating some boundaries and being able to be involved with social media and also being able to be present and involved with my family without allowing social media to