My nomophobia score on the NPM-Q is 63.0. Needless to say, I was is shock. Especially considering, I took a break from social media for a full year!
Beginning of 2017 I decided to take a break from all social media outlets. My reason behind it… my time was used in an unproductive, self-destructive way. I found myself addicted to the latest “it thing,” comparing my life to “theirs” – rather than using that time to work on me. Part of growth, we need to answer the challenging questions: Who do I want to be? What do I want to contribute to this world? More importantly – how am I going to get there?
It was not an easy change for me because I enjoyed social media! I enjoyed watching my friends children grow up, laughing at a funny meme, coming across an inspiring person… it felt like social media was bringing value to my life. But I was ignoring all the warning signs of self-destruction by feeding my inner pessimist. More importantly, I was not putting enough focused time and energy on myself. After acknowledging both the good and bad, I decided to take a break.
Here are the 3 benefits I experienced during my time away from social media:
1. Having more free time
More free time forced me to sit with my thoughts. It reminded me of how it used to be, before technology exploded on to the scene. Growing up there were no YouTube videos to keep us kids entertained. It was still fun (for me) especially during dinner. To keep myself occupied, I was that kid running around the restaurant and hiding under tables while my parents pretended they had no idea who I was. Although tempting, running around and hiding under tables not something I can pull off in my late 20s (I’ve tried). So I sit, observe and think. The world around us is so inspiring if we allow ourselves to look past the obvious and the distractions by observing and listening. It’s easy to be inspired when observing how others interact with one another; it makes us fantasize about how we should connect and authentically socialize with each other. It’s easy to be inspired by listening to another persons story; it motivates us to pursue our own goals and eventually inspire others. Having more free time will make your goals achievable by having the right focused energy coupled with the right mindset – anything is attainable.
2. Letting go of excuses
Instagram was the hardest for me to let go. I love pictures! There’s something to say about how a great photo can capture a thousand words or feelings. With that being said, landing on a page where my whole life goals is on their feed can be discouraging. Oddly enough seeing someone else live my future life makes it feel unattainable. But remember! We’re viewing the results of their persistent work (fruits of their labor if you will), not their journey. It’s easy to forget that we need to put in the right energy to achieve, what may seem, impossible. Disconnecting from Instagram meant I could let go of all the excuses to achieve the same goals. Instantly, the excuses in my head stopped. Pump the breaks on these negative thoughts. This will motivate and inspire ourselves to achieve anything we set our minds to. Believe and it will happen!
3. Unfiltered, raw reactions
Disconnecting from social media also meant I was always behind on the latest updates, but surprisingly – I enjoyed. Not saying I enjoyed being the last to know or that I didn’t care! What I realize, is how much I miss sharing genuine raw reactions when hearing good news – face to face. Think about it! The only “person” seeing your genuine reaction is your phone screen. Lets be honest, sometimes that’s a good thing. But! Those times when we are genuinely happy and react in a raw unfiltered way, time just stops for everyone involved and the memory of that moment is deeply tied with the genuine emotion you all felt that day.
Now coming back into this Digital World I have a whole new fresh perspective – especially after a full year without social media. I realized how I should spend my energy, acknowledging when thoughts are nothing but excuses and how I want to interact with others in this world through genuine, raw moments in life. At the end of the day social media is nothing but a tool we use to connect with one another.
What we present and receive is up to us.