If you've been following along on Instagram and this post in particular, you know that I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I've been trying to be more mindful about my screen time, especially now that my three year old son can call me out on it.
A few weeks back, fueled by the frustration of always feeling so busy (and I'll be honest...I was also listening to an old Tony Robbins tape, ha!), I tried to figure out where I spend time that's not absolutely necessary. Turns out (no surprise here!) my biggest time suck was scrolling through my Instagram feed and stories.
Now I don’t advocate getting off social media completely. I do see its benefits, and I don’t mind spending a few minutes here and there catching up on what’s happening with friends and family and getting inspired by strangers. HOWEVER, I also don’t want to miss out on the life that is happening right in front of me like in this powerful video.
This time of year is always pretty melancholy for me because it reminds me of the last days I spent with my mom and when she finally passed. I try not to live in the past too much, but I do regret that I didn’t spend every single waking second with her in those last months.
Because of that and an absolutely beautiful letter I got in response to my Instagram post from a lovely soul named Hannah (read the heartwarming letter at the end of this blog post), I decided that I wanted to make a concerted effort to at least be conscious of the time that I spend on my phone and then make the decision of how much time I want to be there.
I decided to take action, and I wanted to share what I learned with you. Here I’ve pooled together some tips for a social media cleanse to help you find that precarious balance of using social media consciously and responsibly.
SOCIAL MEDIA CLEANSE
(1) WRITE OUT* a list of tasks that would take 5-20 minutes each to accomplish.
Examples: writing a thank you card, mending a piece of clothing, folding that basket of laundry, returning a phone call you’ve been putting off, watering your plants, calling a family member, paying a bill, etc.
Don’t forget self-care items like meditating, writing in your journal, putting on a face mask or taking a relaxing bath. My personal favorite lately has been doing a 15 minute yoga class that I found on YouTube.
*Writing out this list is key because otherwise it’s easy to forget or distracted. Even better if you can write out a few key items and tape them to the back of your phone.
(2) Whenever you catch yourself on your social media feed of choice (especially in that 1.5 second span where it's loading), become aware of what your purpose is. If you realize that you’re on auto pilot, try putting your phone down and shifting focus to one of the things on your list instead.
Sounds simple enough, right? Well, the hardest part was having the AWARENESS that I was even reaching for my phone. I realized that sometimes I was unconsciously reaching for my phone at random or uncomfortable times and then found that I had just wasted twenty minutes looking at things that weren’t really enriching my life.
It was AMAZING how much this time adds up. I thought that I had dialed my days out so that no second was wasted, but I found that I could complete 2-5 things on my list per day just from consciously cutting it out. How long do you spend on social media per day? What could you accomplish with 30/60/90 (dare I say more…?) minutes more per day?
On Sunday, September 23rd, I’m asking you to put your phone down with me. See how many of those 5 minute projects you can cross off your list or how much more quality time you can spend with your family.
Let’s do it together. It’s always easier to do something when you have friends supporting you and holding you accountable.
For even further incentive, if you cut out social media all day and then come into the store, introduce yourself in the flesh and let me know how the experiment affected you, I’ll give you 20% off your entire purchase for the remainder of the month.
You have over a week to practice and cut down, but let’s go cold turkey for just one day to see what our lives could look like if we had a more responsible relationship with social media.
Feeling inspired yet? Write your list of 5-20 minute tasks in the comments below to get started.
*In home yoga class
*Read Owen a story
*Take a bath
*Put up curtain rods
*Take measurements for the pipe bench for my closet
*Make DIY lotion
*Read a chapter from Awareness
*Label bulk containers in pantry