I know I've done posts on this before, but since it seems to be SO DARN HARD to stay off our smart phones (I'm speaking to myself here) I wanted to remind us all again that every once and awhile you need a break from staring at screens. I have been taking spontaneous breaks throughout the years, most times during the summer when my kids are home to be more present, but now I am seeing that the more I am OFF social media, the more I am ON with my family, friends and (true) social life.
Some of my local ladies and I decided to hit the mall food court for a 5-week study on how to get back to being truly mindful each and every day. We used the book Rhythms of Renewal by Rebekah Lyons - a must read IMO! She reminds us that not every moment we live needs to be shared. Most points hit home, hard, which is sometimes what we need to shake us free of habits that are sucking the life out of us one scroll at a time. I'm not saying all social media is bad (heck, if I didn't have it - most of you would not be reading this right now!) but when it leads to games of comparison, unworthiness, boredom, and keeps us in this lonely isolated state, we need a break.
I took two weeks off (not nearly long enough) and this is what I discovered and what I got done. And before I move on to that, let me tell you, I really did not think I was online a lot. Before I discovered the insights button on my phone, I thought...well maybe I spend an hour per day and pick up my phone 10 times during a given work day. Try 3+ hours and 451 times per week! WHAT?! This was a wakeup call. I knew I needed some time to renew, so apps were deleted.
Here are some things I "did not have time for" before I left my phone behind:
Playing card games with the kids
Swimming with them in the pool (instead of gazing at my phone while they played)
Marie Kondo-ing my whole house
Cooking more mindfully, without the rush
Listening closely to people as they spoke
Praying for friends in need, instead of just promising to
Watching something interesting with my husband at night
Reading more - way more!
Enjoying each beautiful moment without having to capture it on (digital) film
Calling an old friend instead of just saying happy birthday on her timeline
Now, this is not to make you feel guilty for all the things I was doing beforehand, and don't think I'm not going to post cute pics of my kinds in Costa Rica when we go. It is simply a call that I needed to cut it out for awhile and see the difference. I was definitely less stressed and happy not to be readily available to anyone else that has a smartphone (aka everyone I know)!
What I learned most from this experiment is that I need to stop being so automatic about it. I am going to schedule times to go on and see what everyone is up to, as well as post for my business because that's just the way our world works. I vowed to leave my phone downstairs by the front door while my kids are at home. And dinners and parties? Away in my purse. If for nothing else, just to be PRESENT again!
Have you ever taken a break from social media? How did you feel? Did you want to log back on?
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