This is the first time since I joined social media that I’ve gone completely without any such service for any length of time. It’s only been a week, but already I’ve noticed some changes in my habits and behaviors; some positive and some negative.
The first few days after leaving IG and Twitter, I don’t have FB anymore, I noticed I picked up my iPod on a regular basis checking for notifications hoping to find something there. I was deflated to be reminded that there would be no alerts or messages. It was definitely sad at first, but I chose to keep going on with the challenge. I can to anything for a month.
After a week now, I don’t feel as compelled to return to the worlds of social media; reminding myself of how many people I know who never have joined or interacted there and they are getting on quite nicely.
While I do miss sharing my workout photos or finding out what is happening around the world through images on IG, I find I have a bit more time available in my day and I spend far less face time with my device in front of my children.
The one drawback that happened this week though was that Sunday I spent the day without using my iPod; as it’s become less of a requirement in life without constant social interaction. I ended up missing an event I had paid for, as I forgot about it since I had no alerts setup and I didn’t check my calendar. I’ve since made alerts and send myself a daily agenda in the morning to be reminded of such things, as I check my email at least once per day.
I am looking forward to going out on more runs without my iPod going forward. I won’t need it to take a photo to prove my run for IG during this month. I do think though over time I’ll take more photos I think are important to keep and share, and less of other photos because I feel compelled to take and share. I mean, how many photos of my sneakers or socks or the road on a run does one need to keep?
I have been somewhat disconnected from the environment on Twitter for a few years so that hasn’t felt like such a loss in connection.
After having a conversation with my friend Liz about my current concerns and feelings about my overall life, she hit the nail on the head with regards to why I always feel like disappearing from social media or moving on from certain endeavors, even more prominent since having children: I’m drained by social interaction.
While some people fill up from interacting with others, it appears to completely drain my mind and body. I find myself exhausted afterward hoping for a day in bed with a good book or my journal; or a long walk in the woods to contemplate the world.
Since my full-time job is setup as a day of constant interaction and helping others, of which I enjoy, I don’t get that downtime at home to “recharge” myself as I did before children. Now, I go from a noisy bustling house at 6am to a noisy bustling library all day and back to a noisy bustling house all evening until bedtime. I get about an hour before I am off to bed at night, totally wiped out, from all of the interactions during the day.
Between work, family, my side business, and social media, I had not a moment to myself other than running or walking. Those times spent alone have proven to recharge my battery and provide for a happier space of interaction between myself and the world.
It’s been a few years in the making, but I’m doing a fall cleaning this year; cleaning out things from my life to make space for healthier habits, choices, and experiences.
So far, removing social media has had it’s blips, but I am feeling like it was a good decision for me at this time. I also have plans to shut down completely a side business, but will be sharing more about that in the coming weeks after a few more previously scheduled projects are complete.
In the end, I am one who thrives on solace and personal space; especially in the cooler winter months. With my current work and family, it’s hard to find that time each day and the more I can cut back or down on to alleviate that drain the better.
Thankfully, running is so energizing I won’t have to give that up to find time to recharge my batteries. And I am hoping the outcome will be far more exciting days, interactions, and a full charge after a winter of downtime.
Just look around you — at the people crouched over their phones as they walk the streets, or drive their cars, or walk their dogs, or play with their children. Observe yourself in line for coffee, or in a quick work break, or driving, or even just going to the bathroom. Visit an airport and see the sea of craned necks and dead eyes. We have gone from looking up and around to constantly looking down. – I Used to be a Human Being.