My month without social media!
As previously stated in my 'switch off' post, I am prone to some serious social media zombie action. I had been cutting down my usage, but more often than not it would come creeping back in. I wanted to rid myself of the beast all together, well for a month anyway. So this is a post that I will update as the month progresses to track how I feel. So here we go...
I FEEL FUCKING GREAT.
It's a week into having no social media and let me tell you, I don't miss it a bit. Well, I think about it and I still reach for it in moments of boredom/blegh-ness and often I catch myself taking a photo and mapping my post in my mind. But I do nothing. I don't open the app, I don't give in.
I find it pretty challenging to just do things in moderation, so just 'cutting down' was out of the question. The only way I could reduce how much I check Facebook in a day was by removing it from my life all together.
The thing that was holding me back when thinking about doing this, was that I thought people would care. They don't. I thought I would miss out on stuff. As far as I am aware, I haven't (I've asked Al to pass on anything that I need to know about). I'm just me, but just not me on social media.
How has it changed me so far? It hasn't really. Well, I guess it has in subtle ways. It's just allowed me to be more present. With my family, with my work, with my creativity. One thing that I will note, that there is a weight that has seemingly lifted from my shoulders. I feel lighter, happier. I'm connecting more. I'm present. Is it not having social media in my life? I don't really know! Maybe it's just the action of making change that feels liberating. Either way, I am loving feeling like this and I want to keep that feeling. So my question now is- after the month will I re-introduce myself to the beast and try and tame the shit out of it, or keep it at bay for longer? Underneath all the advertising and post hierarchy etc it's an excellent tool to keep in touch with my friends. Alternatively, I could start penpal-ing the hell out of my buds overseas! Anyways, this is week one! Lets see how the next few weeks unfold!
I'm still feeling great! I don't miss it al all. Although I did have a gig last weekend and it was a bummer that I couldn't do a shout out on my social media for it.
Also I have noticed that I have not been writing as much on my blog which I think is tied in with cutting the social media from my life. I am crazy busy as always but maybe there is something in cutting the validation part (all those delectable 'likes' on my posts) on the social that has got me feeling a little less inspired to find the time to write. I am so conditioned to write for likes, post for thumbs up or filter what I am sharing because I have been on the socials for so many years and that is just what is done. It's almost unconscious at this point, the 'norm'. What an insane time we live in. Almost Wholesome is an attempt at being more honest, share the bad with the good and all the unfiltered. I want to make sure I stay true to that. So, screw the likes! But, obviously like this post AMIRITE?!
Sometimes that little number icon over my notifications flashes in my mind. Geez I wonder how many notifications I have got?!?!?! What have I missed out on? Nothing. Really.
I chatted with my brother the other day and I was asking him about finishing up his work and he said 'didn't you see my post on Instagram?!' And of course, no I didn't! So I got Al to show me and as soon as I saw the icon and all those beautifully filtered photos I was like 'Oh my god! Show me that one! Who is that? What's that about?!' It was instant! I was sucked back in! But really only for as long as it took me to read my brothers post and then I was out again.
I am kind of dreading opening up that Facebook page again. I would be happy to never do it again! But for my music and for this blog I feel it is an important for promotion and getting word out. I guess I shall see how I feel once the month is up!
It is week four and one thing that I have noticed over the past month is that I have replaced that downtime mindless checking and scrolling through the social media with other things such as binging shows on Stan/Netflix or watching Youtube videos on food in Japan in preparation for my upcoming Fam Bam trip in April/May.
It is becoming increasingly clear that monitoring my time and the content needs to be looked at. I mean, it's fine for me to want to chill and watch Japan vlogs at the end of a tough work day. But when it turns into hours of lying on my bed mindlessly clicking on the next vid and not doing things like writing or drawing or eating a proper dinner, then it has become a problem. It's not always like this, but my switch off button is big and easy to push and really really hard to turn off. So, I think about the end of this month long experiment and I think that a great way of moving forward is monitoring my time. Sounds severe, right? Maybe but if it comes down to being present with my son or checking my notifications, I'm choosing the latter.
You know you don't really miss something that you're trying to give up for a month when you loose track of time and realise the month was up a week ago!
At week 5 I am feeling the same as I have the last few weeks, mostly unchanged but I am more aware. I have definitely discovered that I don't need social media as I thought I did before. But there are times that I have missed it like- if I need a babysitter and need to try and find someone last minute, Facebook is amazing for that. Or being reminded of peoples birthdays. Beyond that thought, and just seeing updates of important life events for people, it hasn't really left a hole.
I realised last night that I was beyond the timeframe I had set for myself so I decided to jump online. I had 80+ notifications. I scrolled through them, mostly from groups that really don't serve a purpose in making my life any better, but that I had thought were of great importance pre no-social-media-for-a-month-experiment. There were about three interactions that I am glad I saw, but thats mostly it. I didn't want to sit on and sift through everything (how could you make up for four weeks of all of your friends posts anyway?) so I just had a quick look, turned notifications off from a few groups and shut it down again. I did get on again later, I just thought 'I have a moment, I'll just have a quick look!' But I stopped myself. I thought, do I really want to look at social media right now? And the answer was no.
I am really glad to have done this month sans the online socials! It has made me really aware of how much importance I was placing on it, and although I will continue to use it in the future, I will stop myself from the mindless scrolling and use it for a purpose, as opposed to using it to 'switch off'. I might start by sharing this awesome blog about not needing social media, on social media. Hilarious.