I took a few weeks off from my most used social media platforms, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Not a fake break, when we say we are taking a break but sneak back on a little less and never really did leave. I took a real break, deleting the apps off my phone and logging out from the internet for a solid two weeks. I was off for a third but I cheated a bit by logging back on line. I ultimately am planning my full return because I was no more productive in life than I was prior to taking this break. I have downloaded Twitter back on my phone. I will later do Instagram and I am not really rushing to get the Facebook app back although I have logged on over the internet.
While off, I found it so easy to engage in other ways to fill up the now free social media time that I had. Mostly, I binged watched television shows that I had fell behind on or had some interest in. So here are the 5 things that I learned from leaving and coming back:
- Productivity comes from within. As mentioned, I was no more productive in life within my two week hiatus. Just because I had lost access to my self-made distractions, did not mean that I would not find another way to excel at procrastination and lack of motivation. At the end of the day, we are still the masters of our fate and control our actions and choice of engagement. We have to internally make the decision to be better, do more, get off our butts and move.
- I missed it but I didn't really miss it. I missed the people that made me laugh and smile and think. After a while, I was on cruise control. It was okay.
- It is easier for me to bury my head in the sand. I get most of my news a current affairs from social media because I do not watch news. I did not mind missing out. I did not mind being away from all the negative crap. The state of affairs saddens me. However, it should drive us to be the catalyst for change.
- It is a lot of work. Being back for only a couple of days, I realize that it is actually a lot of work. Reading through the post, commenting, wishing people happy birthday, and responding to people is not only time consuming but takes energy. Do I really have time for all this? How did I manage to get as involved as I was before? Clearly, I have an issue with self control.
- Lastly, it is about balance. Life is about balance. How we handle social media should be no different. Not only should I balance how much I am on there but what content I have access to as well. I am going to work on being more of a voyeurer and comment every now and then. I am going to balance my content with things that make me happy and the news (because right not hardly anything is positive in the news) and I am going to balance my time.
Bonus. It takes away from self care. Many people have a high level of stress in their lives that sometimes being on social media can make worse depending on what we expose ourselves to. The most important thing about my social media break was that I was able to have more time for myself, to myself. Time to do the things that I not only enjoy but elevate my mood, release stress and help me relax: quiet time, relaxing time, music time, reading time and me time. Even if we are not more productive, taking time for ourselves is more important. We can gain perspective and clarity and all else refresh.