***A DISCLAIMER before we can get to the good stuff: If you’re reading this on Facebook or any other social media site and thinking, Isn’t Mishy on a social media break until Sunday? then, yes, you are right, but my blog automatically posts to all my social sites when something is published. So, I’m here, but not really here LOL. I’ll be back on socials soon though!
But, hey, May! Wow, 2019 is definitely making it’s way through all the months. April was a complete blur, amiright?
Anyways, this past week, I took a break from social media: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YOU NAME IT!
It was a much-needed break because lately I would find myself mindlessly scrolling through everyone else’s highlight reels instead of actually getting work done for my own passions, and I wasn’t living in the moment either. I was so immersed in other people’s lives, that I couldn’t be fully immersed in my own. Not to mention, social media was doing terrible things to my confidence and self-esteem, so it was definitely time for a break to re-calibrate my mind, and focus on more important things.
Before my break, I had noticed that it was even getting harder for me to write here on my blog because I was putting out SO much content on my social media pages, and even with Motivational Mishy Mondays, that I felt like I didn’t have anything left to say once I sat down to write a blog post.
But it’s been interesting to see where my creativity has gone without the distraction of social media scrolling these past several days…
talking to myself.
For instance, the first night without social media, I wrote a couple of poems, which led me to writing in my journal for the first time in months. And as I wrote, I realized that I hadn’t really sat and been with myself and my thoughts like that for a very long time, and that made me sort of sad.
Growing up, I stayed being by myself. I wasn’t necessarily an introvert, I just loved being by myself, writing and imagining things. I just enjoyed being with my own thoughts; I honestly feel like it had a hand in me seeing the value in myself, my thoughts and opinions, and also strengthened my creativity as well.
But lately in my life, I’ve been so busy, I haven’t had much time to just do that – sit and journal what I’ve been feeling, allowing myself to truly contemplate those emotions and thoughts. And any time I have to myself, I spend it, doing what? Mostly scrolling through social media, and seeing what everyone else has to say about life. THEIR LIVES.
Experiencing this realization of my lack of reflection on myself (after I’d just had an all-women event on reflection, wow, it’s crazy the things God leads us to do in order to reveal something we need to work on ourselves) has challenged me to journal every night about the things I encountered during the day, be it emotions, situations, people, ideas, etc. I’ve just missed talking to myself like I used to, and I’m not sure that I would have understood the need for me to return to this habit had I not taken a social media break.
Guys, let’s talk about the last time I read an entire book, though…
I should give myself some credit; I have definitely finished a poetry book or two recently. “Recently” meaning in the latter months of 2018; I don’t think I started or finished a book in 2019 yet. And this fact is also crazy to me, since I used to be such an avid reader when I was younger.
Granted, I had much more free time when I was a kid, even when I was in high school. The only reading I did in college was for class, so maybe that discouraged me from reading after I graduated. But within my adult life, I have read and finished several books, and during this social media break, I am super proud to say that I finished reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I started that book back in the fall of 2018, and had to take several breaks to chew and swallow what she was saying. But I have finally read through the entire book, having learned about and related to Gilbert’s perspective on creative living.
I tried not to speed-read though. When I think back to my childhood, and how many Nancy Drew books I could read in a week (anyone else love good ole Nancy???), I wondered if I was retaining anything I was reading, or if I was just speedily getting through the story to get to the next one. I’d like to think I did better this time around, since I highlighted certain points I agree with in Gilbert’s book, and also even in a few books previous to this one. I’m hoping to continue to get better in that area!
Now I’ve started reading the second volume of Fruits Basket! I know I’ll probably finish it today, but I want to make sure I’m reading a variety of things so I’m not getting bored! 😄
one at a time.
I’m terrible at multitasking, or thinking about several different projects all at once and getting so overwhelmed that I don’t work on anything, I just end up doing that whole social media scrolling act.
But this week, I was able to focus on the creative projects I kept saying I wanted to start, but never got around to finishing. I was able to assign a specific project and different tasks for that project each day, and it made me feel so much better to see that, at some point this week, I was getting SOMETHING done!
And it didn’t have to be all at once; it could all be done one at a time, one day at a time, one task at a time. And I felt way more accomplished doing that than thinking of a million things all at once and then…choosing to get on Instagram instead.
All of this is to say that I had really eye-opening moments this week without the distraction of social media. Other things include talking to my roommate for a long time about several different things going on in our lives, spending more quality time in the Bible, getting chores done, etc.
I hope that at some point, everyone decides to take a break from social media just to adjust to themselves again. It doesn’t have to be for as long as a week, maybe it’s just for a day, or even for a few hours or whatever. It’s just good to have less distractions from truly living life. I honestly even felt like time went by quicker during some parts of my day because I was able to accomplish more, and wasn’t just mindlessly doing nothing.
Seeing all of this flourish in the way that it has is encouraging me to put controls on my social media apps whenever I get them back. On the iPhone, you’re able to set a “Downtime” which blocks access to certain apps you set past a certain time of night. I used to place that time two hours before I went to bed so I could write and read, and I definitely think I’ll be going back to that.
To those who took the challenge with me/have taken the “no social media” challenge before:
- How hard was it to stop the habit of picking up your phone, and trying to get on your apps?
- What things did you learn about yourself and your life outside of social media?
- What are some things you did or thought differently about after your break, and you added your social media apps back to your phone?