(This is day 8 of the Get Organized Series)
I’m not a huge fan of social media, but that wasn’t always the case. Like every other teeneger I loved using Facebook and would spend hours scrolling through the feed. But then a few years ago I started to notice that behavior and how it wasn’t adding any value to my life.
A new normal
Then I switched to Instagram. Perfect photos, little text and even more addictive. I would spend hours a week just staring at a screen and trying to keep up with everyone else's lives, while putting aside tasks that would better my own. Not just that, but there was that constant feeling that the grass seems always greener on the other side, and that no matter how caught up I was, my FOMO (fear of missing out) would always kick in.
When that became too much for me, I decided to take a break and quit Instagram. Yes, it was hard at first, like every addiction. I would frequently grab my phone to check for notifications or to post photos online. But after a couple weeks I started to reach less and less, until it became my new normal. It now has been three months since I quit Instagram and I can’t say I miss it. I went back a couple weeks ago to use it as a platform to promote my work and this website, but don’t feel the need to use it as a pacifier anymore.
The point I’m trying to make is that social media once brought me a lot of joy, but with it also came a lot of anxiety, comparison, misinformation and wasted time. So when I stopped to evaluate if that joy was still there, I found out it wasn’t and then let it go.
So today I want you to take the time to really think about how you use social media:
Do I use it as an excuse to procrastinate?
Is it actually a pacifier for something deeper?
Why do I keep going back?
Can I live without it for a while?
What are better things I could do with my time?
How does it make me feel?
Find other ways to connect
I know that in times of social isolation the thought of quitting social media can seem even more daunting, but give it a try. There are many other things you can do with your time. Plus, it will take your mind off the horrible news that is out there, always at our fingertips, just waiting to make you feel more anxious and scared. If you do take a break, make sure to find other ways to connect with loved ones.
If you, like me, use social media for work, give yourself a time limit. Get in to post what you need, check out the essentials and get out before you get consumed by the scrolling loop. Now, if you think you could never quit social media or if it truly brings you joy, take time to see if all the people and companies you follow also have the same effect. If you follow someone that is constantly posting negative things, or a brand that is not aligned with your values, don’t think twice before clicking unfollow. I like to do that every few months to make sure I’m only seeing content that brings me joy.
Let me know if you tried or want to try quitting social media, I’d be interested to know. As for tomorrow I chose an easier category, and we’ll be sorting your linen closet.