Intentional Living

What I Learned From Staying Off Social Media for Two Weeks

girl reflecting at conservatory of flowers
 
Or at least, a little over two weeks.
 
Personal reasons aside, I chose to “drop off the face of the world” as some people may call it, and I deleted the main social media apps I use on my phone (instagram and snapchat), as well as the automatic login for facebook on my web browser, since that app has already been deleted off my phone since last year. I learned a handful of things from this cleansing period, and it’s a change that has brought me to a better point in my life. As I continue to distance myself from social media, I am able to put my time toward the people and the things that truly matter to me. And it feels invigorating. It has helped me in more ways than I can count. But let me try to summarize these points briefly.
 
– I realized how many times I just pick up my phone to mindlessly check up on others, rather than working on my own agenda.
– I am able to achieve more of my dreams by allocating time typically wasted browsing these apps. i.e. writing more on my blog, reading books I’ve checked out from the library, learning my language with pen pals I intentionally reached out to.
– I’ve been trying to eat and cook more.
– It feels better being in the moment rather than glued to my phone.
– My use of technology has slowly become more intentional, geared toward more self growth rather than upholding an image that people know me to have or avoiding conversation with friends because my phone is in front of me.
– I took pictures not to post for likes or attention, but to capture memories of times with my family, partner, and my own self care time.
– I’ve reflected about the world and where technology has brought us, both the positive and the negative.
– Tasks I’ve been putting off such as getting a car wash, cleaning my room, doing my laundry, and so on have been checked off my to do list, finally.
– I am able to look at myself in the mirror and ask myself each day, “What am I doing today that gives me purpose to keep living?”
 
There seems to be this central theme of “living” on my blog, and I want that to be the point. I want to live an intentional life, to make the most of my given days on this planet and to share with the world my gifts, knowledge and love.
 
Now, the unfortunate part of this all is that I technically was not social media free, since my work requires me to use social media for our marketing and communications. So it’s not like I was completely away from facebook, twitter, instagram or even pinterest. But I will say that posting for my non profit (a group serving the Micronesian community), rather than posting for an individual (namely myself), was humbling. I have other plans of using social media for my future plans in curating my website and internet presence, but for now, I’ll still be taking the time to create a balance between my digital social media life and my real, in person life.
 

So where does this bring me now?

 
I have recently (as in today) redownloaded instagram onto my phone and logged into my account. Most likely, I’ll be posting this on my story as well as on my facebook. Additionally, I think I’ve found very little benefit from having a snapchat, so I will keep that uninstalled for the time being. I’ve intentionally downloaded apps to help me with staying calm, managing my anxious moments, and facilitating mindful breathing and meditation. My next steps are to make sure my phone goes through a digital declutter, organizing files and what have you. Let’s see where my growth goes from here. Try a social media hiatus sometime if you haven’t — I hope that it helps you as much as it did for me.
[Originally published June 9, 2018. This blog post was reposted from my old wix site, also hosted at http://erilm.com]
 

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