I was feeling overwhelmed.
The world was noisy. My life was noisy. I felt like things were constantly coming at me. So many things I had to input and process. Complete overload.
I blamed this stress on my kids, on the current state of our world, on work, and on everything.
But as I became truly conscious of how I was spending my time, one thing stood out: the constant use of my phone. I know I have a bit of an addiction. Always checking my email, texts, and especially social media. So much mindless scrolling.
Too Much Time on Social Media
I knew I was on it a lot and that it was taking a lot of time. But what I came to realize was how it was affecting my state of my mind, and actually adding to the stress in my life. It was time for a break.
So I finally decided to delete social media apps from my phone.
No, I didn’t completely delete my social media profiles, because they do have value. For instance, I love seeing my friends’ kiddos grow. And gaining a new perspective after reading a great post by a friend.
But I did delete social media apps from my phone. So when I did want to use the platforms, I had to sit down at my computer and be intentional about it instead of mindless.
Life After Social Media
I got bored.
Do you know how many times I mindlessly grabbed my phone off the counter? At least every 10-20 minutes. I found myself picking it up and my thumb subconsciously moving right to the empty hole where the Facebook app use to be.
Now that it wasn’t there, I had nothing to do but set my phone back down. And it took three entire days for me to lose this subconscious thumb movement. Holy cow!
So now with nothing taking up my hand and mind every 10-20 minutes, I got bored.
I filled that time with better things. I hung the curtain rod which was on my to-do list for weeks, started going for walks, and played cards with my kids. I took the time to touch base with more of my work teammates to check in. And my house got a little cleaner.
The quick 10 minute Facebook scroll that normally filled that boredom was now replaced with actual things that made my day better and more productive.
The noise went away.
There was no more notifications, no more wondering if someone commented on my post or if I missed something, no more random unimportant information being pushed into my brain. I had more time for my mind to just relax and be quiet. My own thoughts started to come through instead of me reading the thoughts of everyone else.
My patience increased.
I snapped less at my kids. I wasn’t trying to read a screen and listen to a kid at the same time. This brought the anxiety level down in our house big time.
I regained my creativity.
The extra room in my head allowed for more ideas to come through. I felt excitement start to come back about possibilities and new projects and creative business ideas.
I watched a full movie.
You guys, my addiction was so bad that I couldn’t even be entertained by one screen in front of me but instead needed two! I scrolled Facebook while watching Netflix.
And after that social media-free movie my hubs and I actually had a full conversation about the movie while looking each other in they eyes and truly processing only the other’s words.
Five Weeks Later
It took just one week to feel much less frazzled, anxious, and overwhelmed. And today, five weeks later, I honestly feel like a completely different person. One who I like much, much better.
I will admit, I was a little scared to press the delete button. I worried I would miss something. And to be honest, I did. But those things I missed: a friend’s cute kiddo picture, a fun community event, a frost warning that I lost a plant to… weren’t life shattering. And weren’t worth what I gained.
My social media hasn’t left my life, just my phone. I’m learning and training myself how to use it more consciously and intentionally. And I needed to pull the ripcord in order to do that.
So I challenge you. Not to delete social media profiles, but to spend a week being conscious. For me, I can’t believe what an impact it has been and the chain reaction of good it has created in my life.
What are you doing that isn’t bringing you value, but costing you time, energy, and just adding to the overall chaos and noise of your life? Maybe it isn’t a social media app but the TV or email or a person.
Can you pull the ripcord?