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Today I split up with social media.
You might think it’s crazy. Ask, how could you? What about friends, and why in these times?
Let me explain and shed some light on my decision for you.
It wasn’t a hard decision to leave social media behind for me. I’ve been thinking it over for some time, observing my world around me and asking myself over and over if it’s the right thing to do.
I find it sad to see people with their phones not engaging each other or their lives. We’ve all seen that couple in the restaurant thumbing their phones, flip flip, friends out for a walk and talk with their dogs, flip flip, at friends you haven’t seen in months when suddenly they pull out their phone, check the screen and flip flip, right in the middle of dinner conversation. I thought of leaving as I was now unimportant.
I was never a person to steadily sift through pictures, videos, and mindless banter on social media. I was always conscious of my time spent and didn’t use it in a habitual, automatic way whenever I had a moment.
When I deleted my last account, I felt free. No more ties, expectations, trivial exchanges, endless opinions let alone advertisements. My world went quiet. My monkey mind had no choice but to leave. I thought I heard him say, “No more fun here,” as he was exiting. And that was it. I raised my head in satisfaction to claim my own power once again. And that’s when it all started.
In moments, a deluge of creative thought swept in and claimed the newly created space. I had time to call my mom, text a friend, search for that new recipe, sit quietly for a moment, meditate, take many deep satisfying breaths while listening to the birds outside, and welcomed insight into creative projects.
I can hear myself thinking. I’m a feeling being in a thinking body once again.
Many take social media sabbaticals I know. I have friends who do this over and over and say that it’s one of the best things they’ve done for themselves in a long time. It’s nurturing to your spirit and your mind. It engages the cells in your brain as you, and not at something irrelevant that is probably funny because it’s at the expense of someone.
And what does social media offer your life? I understand if you’re a business, an online publication, or if you do it for news or a way to engage with your artists’ circle. It’s a must these days. I guess it comes down to prioritizing and what you really need it for, then regulating the time needed for that purpose.
For me as a writer, artist, creative, and more, I decided to take the leap and figure out the rest. Walk through the answers and the questions will present themselves. I have all my friends in my contacts and love calling or texting them. They respond back in loving ways that heal our body as love. I would rather hear the intonation of a friend’s voice than read an insincere opinion of someone I don’t know. I truly believe that if we want a better world we have to choose wisely when it comes to social media and think about our actions and repercussions. Do you remember what happened to the villain in the first Indiana Jones movie? He chose poorly.
Now more than ever, the world needs people solidly engaged in efforts to make this world the place we want it to be. We need leaders, educators, and the effort of willing people to make that change. Get off your phone and get down to the farmers market and support local; go ride that bike you haven’t been on in years, and feel the wind on your face while you laugh with a friend; get on that hike you’ve always wanted to go on, and learn about the plants and trees you walk by; look to the sky at night and think of how small we are; bake that loaf for a friend or neighbor because it matters; call your mom, sister, brother, or family member; close your eyes and hear the wealth that silence brings to your mind.
Like meditation, social media sabbaticals will take practice. It will probably take a strong conscious decision to do this first as well. Steps. And like anything new in our lives, it can be frightening and exciting at the same time.
You will benefit from it more and more as you see what the outcomes can actually be for yourself, family, and friends. Your life will be enriched.
Now go call a loved one and spread the good news. They’ll be grateful you did.