Tuesday, January 30, 2018

No Social Media for a Month - 11 reasons

Except for Lily’s 10 month picture, I’m going to cut out all social media for the month of February.

Why? Here are a variety of reasons:

1) To help with physical pain: My right hand gets cramped, and this is now the second time that it’s happened where anything I do causes it pain. It’s not severe, but annoying enough to where I need to rest it.  And I know that it is due to using my phone too much (i.e. too much social media).

2) To help me focus on real life: It’s too easy to flip through a newsfeed looking at everyone else’s baby, or their family, when my baby is playing nearby and I could be spending those precious moments with her. #guilty #regret

3) To take away an escape from life: When I don’t want to do something, let’s say: cook a semi-involved dinner, or when I don’t want to engage with someone, let’s say: a hard discussion with Jason, it’s too easy to retreat to the semi-fake world of facebook for a while. This promotes running away, hiding, and basically not dealing with the real world. #faceit

4) To give me time to do other things: I’m curious to see just how much time is in my day when I cut social media out. Maybe it won’t be as much as I thought. Maybe it will be a lot - it’s hard to predict because typically social media is just minutes here and there. 

5) To provide a space to do something else more meaningful: I want to strategically choose to do something “instead” of checking facebook. What can I do in those moments standing in the grocery line when I might normally flip through instagram? 

6) To intentionally start my day my way: By removing the temptation to check on everyone else’s life first thing in the morning, I can choose to start my day however I want, without the distractions of everyone else’s joys or frustrations.

7) To intentionally end the day my way: I can now choose to read a book, or listen to music. Of course, I could do those things without completely removing social media from my life - but for me, it’s an “all or nothing” kind of thing, and the strictness of “nothing” will help me say no in the moment.

8) To reduce comparison: I don’t feel like I compare myself to others as a result of facebook or instagram, but how can you really measure this? It’s such a subtle thing, and I’m sure I do it more than I realize.  Someone else’s struggles can too easily make me feel better about myself than I should. Someone else’s joys can too easily make me feel worse about myself than I should. I can never fully avoid comparing myself to others, but removing social media will certainly reduce it significantly.

9) To reduce the need to impress: I'd like to think I post things simply to share my life with others, but if I’m honest, it’s basically to make myself look good in some way. How can it not be? While some posts may be intended as a harmless, ‘this is what I did today,’ all posts unintentionally, but loudly declare: “look at me.” 

10) To break the stress that my 2018 goals have already caused me! I wanted to take a picture every day in 2018, and post it. While this has been fun for the month of January, it has also been a source of stress. Getting that perfect picture takes forever. Thinking of something new to photograph is kind-of tiring, and it’s only been 30 days. Deciding which filter to use, if any, is mostly annoying. And then I have to write a witty caption?  I feel pressure (self-inflicted) to get it right (aka: perfect), and since I can’t, or at least I am never satisfied with it, I am letting it go, at least for now. I do plan to take a picture every day (this is pretty easy, thanks to Lily) - but these pictures will be just for personal enjoyment.

11) To reduce depression: I just found this link, so am leaving it here as the 11th reason I'm taking a break. (https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/09/07/492871024/facebook-and-mortality-why-your-incessant-joy-gives-me-the-blues)  

So, those are my 11 reasons to cut it out of my life at least for a time.

But….I know that to deprive all of my followers (who are now really Lily’s followers primarily), of pictures of Lily, would be a grave offense.

So for now, I'll leave this 1 picture here, take a couple weeks ago.  It might be my favorite picture of Lily and me so far :-)

Also, I plan on jumping on social media around February 20th for her 10 month marker, to share with you all the ways Lily has grown and developed in the past month :)

Til then, thanks for your support, and understanding of my absence! See ya later!

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