In the last few years, social media has felt funny to me. On one hand, it’s an amazing platform to connect with others and share what’s on my heart, and I’ve even met close friends through it. But, it can also be totally egocentric and a breeding ground for comparison.
I’m constantly redesigning my relationship with social media; some weeks it feels good to really engage, and others -- I just want to retreat from it all.
I’m currently doing the latter, and it feels GOOD. While I take a break periodically, this time is a bit different.
I’ve recently felt like there’s a lot going on in my brain; like a swirling of information and ideas and to dos, but they had nowhere to settle. My focus was out of whack, I felt low-key stressed throughout the day, and I had a hard time shutting off my brain before bed.
But I was doing all the “right” things! I was meditating, going to yoga, drinking lots of water, getting sunshine, going for walks, and still, something wasn’t working.
After catching myself unconsciously clicking into Instagram several times, I decided it was time to experiment with yet another social media vacay.
Even if you’re just going on to post and sign off, do you ever click back in to check your likes or comments?
Most of us have.
That’s your ego saying, more more more, validate me, like me.
Like I said, social media can be a great platform for doing good; raising money for charity, connecting with others and sharing your positive messages with the world. It’s still noisy nonetheless; it’s just part of the package.
This noise can all-too-easily yank us out of living in the present; in falling in love with the life right in front of us, not longing for someone else’s life on Instagram.
I was sensing that yanking -- of not being completely present throughout my life -- and in just a few days of taking a social media break, I’m feeling more content, focused and present.
Sometimes it takes a simple shift to experience huge shifts throughout your life. I love the image of dropping a pebble into a pond. In this case, when I dropped social media, it had a ripping effect; first I felt clearer, which helped me be more present, which allowed me to connect with people on a deeper level, which helped me to appreciate -- even more -- the life in front of me, which simply made me happier.
I’m in the middle of reading Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday, and in it he says, “Living clearly and presently takes courage. Don’t live in the haze of the abstract, live with the tangible and real, even if -- especially if -- it’s uncomfortable. Be part of what’s going on around you. Feast on it, adjust for it.”
Getting off social media can be totally uncomfortable, especially when FOMO kicks in. It can be an escape from reality, but the truth is, the real juicy parts of life are right in front of you, begging for your attention. It’s your real life relationships, your daily interactions, the beautiful physical world around you, and so much more.
This is where living actually happens. So look up from your phone and computer more often. I even challenge you to take your own social media break to reevaluate how you want to be in relationship with it.
What do you want to get out of it? How do you want to interact with others on it? Do you even want it in your life?
My relationship with it is always shifting, and yours can too. The important part to remember is this: it’s completely up to you.