The old 'switch off'
I've got a lot going on. But who doesn't, right?! I don't know about you, but I bloody love a good 'switch off'. This comes in many forms- one of which is watching a shitty tv series on netflix/stan that I actually hate but love because it so bad (always finishing the series with - *sigh* 'I'll never get that time back' or 'well that was shit'). But on a more regular basis it come in the form of social medial. MASSIVE switch off for me.
It's deceiving because I am 'connecting' or at least thats what I tell myself. I am connecting with people and things and feeds and pages and groups that I like. I think all these things are feeding the connect, but they are in fact very much feeding the disconnect.
I would periodically check Facebook and Instagram for no good reason usually; a notification from a local Buy Swap and Sell page, some comment on a post. Suff that obviously cannot wait, right? Sometimes I was on it for no reason at all! My fingers would just mindlessly tap on the app icon and there I would be.
I am not just talking one or two times a day. I'm talking like 20-30 times a day. SERIOUSLY. Most of the time, it's just habitual! If I had one moment free, my phone would suddenly be in my hand and before I realise it, I'm in deep. On the bus, while something is cooking on the stove, at work, in my break, in bed, while I'm walking, while the kids in the bath, at the shops, in the car (obvs I'm not driving) FIRST THING IN THE MORNING. I'm not kidding. And for what?
In an effort to adhere to one of my resolutions that was to be more present with my fam bam, I decided to delete social media from my phone.
It was instantly apparent that I had a habit, an addiction. I would constantly reach for the phone. Sometimes I would, with out even a thought, unlock the phone and press the app icon for whatever was now in Facebooks place. There was no connection between thoughts and my fingers and what was happening around me and my phone. It just happened.
After the initial shock of realising that I had mindlessly been switching on to switch off, I was pleased that I didn't really feel frustrated or like something was missing as I had suspected I would, I felt free. In fact I've never felt so free in my life. I started putting my phone down because without the social media check-ups there was no real reason to have it on me. And surprisingly (or rather, not surprisingly at all) I became really present with my family. With my son, I was playing and interacting and involving on a level that I am ashamed to say I hadn't been before. Don't get me wrong, I am an incredibly active and loving and interactive parent, I just haven't been as present as I could be, and I didn't realise this until I took away the thing that was taking up that time.
I didn't want to take social media away completely (although I wouldn't be opposed to trying it) so I assigned a half hour time slot to check it, once the kid was in bed.
It changed everything, it made me realise how unimportant it actually is, and how much importance I had been placing on it. I realised that I am never going to be able to see everything that everyone posts and that is ok! I think it's a great tool for promoting awesome things like this blog (insert wink face) and my music and keeping connected with friends and family and my community, it's just not and integral part of who I am. It's a flourish. It's some kind of awesome cherry on top. And there are only so many cherries that fit on top of this divine Sundae that is me.
I think I have lost the plot.
Anyway once my designated time is up, I move on to something else, in an ideal evening, my creative journaling, but sometimes also, bed. I was feeling really good about it.
One might think that this would be it, done and dusted, finished, caput. But.. Nah. Because nothing is ever black and white and as I keep reminding myself, I am only human.
My grey area came when I needed to put Instagram back on my phone to post as @almostwholesomelife to start gaining traction for this blog. I was also building a Facebook page and the interest in the reception completely outweighed my commitment to resisting the pull of the 'switch off'. I guess the different this time is that my intention with the social media is for building my blog which is a creative and expressive outlet for me, therefore it 'has a reason'. But once I became aware of it, I reinstated the night time only social media rule. Nothing but pure self-control (wish me luck). Sometimes I give in, most of the time I don't.
Here I am, as always- trying to be good, not perfect!