The world we live in is a loud, active and sometimes confusing one. We work, live and sleep in a non-stop lifestyle. Even when we are asleep, the digital world keeps going. We sometimes feel like we miss out on things while we are sleeping, so as soon as we wake up, we grab our phones to catch up while we eat breakfast and move about our daily routines. Throughout the day, we continue to look at our phones any time we can and it can become consuming. Some of us become too fascinated by how many likes we get on a Facebook or Instagram post or Tweet. Some of us worry a bit more than others about how we look to the rest of the world. We forget to take a break and have moments in our lives that make us forget to update our social media. I’m not saying not to take pictures, but social media really isn’t everything.
I’m 35 years old, so I am lucky enough in which all the dumb teenage things I did were before social media was even a thing. I have done some things since, but that’s another blog post. Many of you reading this may feel the same relief, because some of us did very dumb things and it’s probably good that the major site at the time was MySpace and even that didn’t have the capabilities that today’s social media sites have. (I had a MySpace, and wow, was that an adventure.)
Some people become so ingrained in their lives on social media that they kind of forget how to live without it. I’m trying to live a little more off my phone these days, even while running a small life coaching business/blog. I don’t feel the need to be on the phone all hours of the day and especially at night. I need my sleep!
Here are some tips to cut back and stay mindful in this busy, social media-rich world:
Start with little steps at a time. I’d hate the idea of just ditching my phone for a whole day. I won’t leave my house without it. My anxiety just isn’t set up for that kind of thing, but I don’t eat and look at my phone. I don’t allow my kids to eat and look at their tablets. (I KNOW. I’m the meanest mom ever, right?) They balked at first, but they got over after about a week. All I have to do now is give them “the evil Mom eye” and it’s gone.
Pick times of the day that you can look at your phone mindlessly. I do a lot of my social media things for my business first thing in the morning, like checking groups, posting, etc, but after that, I allow myself about 15 minutes to goof off on a few apps and that’s it. This was also a bit hard to do. I just learned to choose my apps wisely. Pinterest is reserved for the later time of the day, because that can be a rabbit hole.
Find new hobbies to fill the time, or go back to hobbies that you haven’t done in a while. I love to color (adult coloring books), read and listen to true crime podcasts. Sometimes I’d rather do these things than play on my phone, which is a good thing! Some people forget their hobbies in favor of electronic things, and that can REALLY be detrimental to social interactions or usual everyday things. It really is good for your brain to put down the phone and get engaged in another activity.
Get outside, inside or engaged in your brain! When I said mindful, this was the tip I meant! Being mindful is good. It’s also easy to do. There are podcasts, videos, and books for becoming more mindful in daily life. This is the act of becoming more aware of the world around you, getting more in tune with your thoughts, among other things. Social media can cloud these things. Exercise, whether in or outside is always good.
Remember, NOBODY has the perfect life. That “perfect” mom you see on Facebook with the spotless living room, kids with clean outfits on and a great looking yard probably has days where all of that is not happening. You just caught her on a good day. My house is constantly messy and my kids are lucky to change their socks. Everyone has their own lives, and you are awesome the way YOU are! Social media is a lot of fun. It’s how just about everyone (except for my husband) connects. It just shouldn’t take over your life.