The REAL Reason I Take Social Media Breaks
Social media is addictive. Its easy to get caught up in all the inspirational memes and quotes, selfies, relationship status changes, articles, music, and videos you see everyday. Its non-stop. We go from the computer to the phone to the computer back to the phone back to the computer. Checking and updating all hours of the day…in meetings, in the restroom, eating lunch, on a date…any time. Day in and day out.
After a while, you (hopefully) start to notice that it all becomes redundant. You’re bound to see certain articles, pictures, videos, or memes trending and being shared by at least 10 different people. The same old soup warmed over. A distraction even. You find yourself half-listening to conversations, half-watching a movie, not noticing someone, or missing something about your surroundings. Then, there’s the issue of content….all of the information you’re allowing to enter your mind…unfiltered, unchecked, unresearched, unthoughtabout (<— don’t steal my new word). Its a lot to take in hundreds of other peoples thoughts all day, every day. (Can you imagine being locked in a room with everyone on your friends list for a week listening to them talk all at the same time…all day and night? If the thought of that makes you want to slit your wrist, stop and put the razor down and finish the article. There’s hope.)
At some point, you have to put it all on pause. You have to step away from the noise. You have to reconnect with your surroundings and the people in your life. Most importantly, you have to reconnect with yourself. Read. Listen to music. Have a face-to-face conversation without phone in hand. Meet people. Fry some chicken. Have sex (preferably good sex). Read an actual book in the restroom. Sit in silence. Write. Take walks. Drive around. Pray. Sit and actually think. Do it all without having to broadcast it with words, pics, or videos. Be social without the media. Just let it happen and keep that memory between you and the moment.
The first time I took a social media hiatus a few years ago I went 30 days without using any of my social media pages, which at that time was only Facebook and Twitter. Second time…60 days. This time…90. I originally had no intentions on increasing the time. But now I like seeing how long I can go without. The most common question I’m asked during and after the breaks of course is “Why?” Well, it’s simple really. One word. Clarity. I find it therapeutic to go into my own private wilderness mode. (I’m already an introvert so I pretty much stay in partial wilderness mode most of the time) Typically, when I take these breaks, I’m either working on a personal project, catching up on some reading and writing, or doing whatever the hell else I want to do.
When I reactivate my pages and jump back into the social media pool, I see things a little different than before. I have a renewed perspective. I see the memes a little different. I see the pictures a little different. I see the people a little different. I see myself a little different. Because I am. Because I take that time to put in work. Work on personal or business projects. Work on my relationships. Work on myself. Things are a little different because I change on certain levels. When I change, my world changes. And that’s what it takes….stepping away to renew, redefine, and rebuild perspective. That’s how you know you’ve grown…when you can look at something that you’ve seen before with the same eyes in a different way.
So, I challenge you to take your own personal social media hiatus. Try a week or two. Or maybe a month or two. However long you decide to take (if you should so choose), just walk away and enjoy it. Take some time to reconnect with yourself and be social without the media.
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