Let’s face it – if you’re involved in social media, you’ll regularly hear your real and Facebook friends mention that the noise is too much.
The social media noise, that is.
We’re all aware of Facebook envy, where you imagine that people’s lives are the sum total of their updates, because nobody posts about the flip side of the coin, real life.
Instagram has made it a little worse for some people, I’d imagine, with beautiful pictures of families, homes, baking, and so on.
I remember when we went on a beach holiday, scrolling through my phone pictures, I’d see both Instagram-worthy photos (the beach…) and also the moments between Instagrams, like three-year-old time outs and laundry day craziness.
The truth is I’ve never felt like I needed to unplug because I try to live life on my own terms and not compare myself to others… and I feel relatively well balanced. Well enough that I can coach other people in total integrity knowing I am being authentic.
You see, I set up some boundaries for myself years ago which are now very firmly entrenched habits:
- I like to be more of a contributor than a consumer in any social media. If I’m on a particular site, it’s first to contribute (post, photo, etc.) and then to consume (check other people’s pretty pics and status updates).
- I also use social media to connect with people. So if I scroll through my feed and see something I enjoy, whether a post or a photo, I’m probably going to comment or “like” that snippet. I want people to know I’m reading, watching and enjoying catching up with them, no matter how superficial.
- And of course, being a time management coach, I have very firm time boundaries for myself.
Also, very old-fashioned of me, but I actually still use Pinterest for my original reasons, storing bookmarks and websites I may want to reference again, and of late, as a search engine for pretty things.
All of that said, a few weeks ago, I was praying and I just felt like I couldn’t hear very well because my brain felt too cluttered.
I sensed that I should take a bit of a social media fast to clear my head a bit.
Since I didn’t feel that it was completely necessary to not have any involvement, I did a “light version”:
- I blogged in advance for the week ahead.
- No internet at night once I got home from work. Night times were now reserved for cooking, husband and kids, gym, photos, prayer and Bible reading and other projects… like the good old days!
- I only read blogs while eating my lunch at work and if I could only read and comment on three blogs during that time, then so be it.
What were the results?
- I got a TON of things done around the house. Just call me the Organising Queen J
- I heard a lot from God – I journalled too so I wouldn’t forget it all.
- I felt calmer and more peaceful.
- There was more time so I slept more during that week. My usual is at least 7 hours and I was getting in 7.5 – 8 hours daily.
- Of course my Feedly had about 200 items in it (I subscribe to about 75 blogs) and I unsubscribed from a few feeds, the ones where I wasn’t even slightly tempted to do some catch-up reading.
I still don’t think I’ll do it very often but I think I’m sold on doing at least a quarterly social media fast.