That elusive social media vacation. It always sounds so good, but too difficult to actually commit to. My issues with leaving social media behind- for a while, at least- have to do with promoting and growing my blog. Talk to any blogger, and they will tell you that managing their site is so much more than publishing a blog post every week.
It takes managing various social accounts, taking and editing photos, and posting regularly to all of those platforms. Not to mention checking back for any responses, comments, and monitoring of overall performance.
And yes, I am not exempt from scrolling aimlessly on Instagram and Twitter. I usually do this first thing in the morning and after I do all of the above.
Lately, however, I have been thinking about how I can improve my quality of life and productivity. Limiting my time on social media was the most obvious starting point. Not only has it been proven that social media is adding to people’s stress, anxiety, low self-esteem, but I have noticed that it simply consumes so much of my time and mental space. Even though I follow many motivational and inspirational people, I experience social media as being a bit of time black hole and as a device for lowering my attention span.
Because of that, this is what I am doing on a daily basis to detach from social media in critical ways.
Leaving the Phone Behind
If you are like me, podcasts are life. I listen to podcasts and informational YouTube videos practically 24/7. Am I stretching? I need to listen to a podcast. Am I cooking? I need to listen to a podcast. Am I cleaning? Am I driving? Do I simply need background noise? Then I need to listen to a podcast.
The thing is, though… I don’t. I’m not the type of person that is successful with taking multiple items or habits away at once. Therefore, the main place where I make sure to leave my phone behind is when I shower. Typically, when I’m showering or getting ready I like to listen to music or podcast, but as of late I have been leaving my phone behind.
This is a small step, but I have discovered that it allows me to really clear my mind and just focus on one task. Once, I get comfortable with this, I want to remove background noise from when I stretch, as that allows for a stronger mind-body connection.
No Morning Scroll
This one is the most difficult. I am not always successful at avoiding the mindless Instagram scroll first thing in the morning. However, I want to solidify my morning routine and make it more purposeful. I want everything I do to add to my life, and I can tell you that mindlessly scrolling does not. I’m switching my alarm clock to my Fitbit that way to don’t need my phone so close to my bed and I don’t need to physically grab it first thing in the morning.
One Device at a Time
The second screen experience has run rampant throughout society. I know that will not completely get rid of this habit, since I do like to live tweet UFC events. I do not, however, need to be looking at Instagram or Twitter while watching a show or a movie at home. It’s amazing how I could be watching West World, which is an amazing show, then suddenly get the urge to check my phone. It’s ridiculous, and does not seem healthy to me. That’s why I am making a conscious effort to leave my phone down if I am already viewing something else.
Even though the above does not constitute a full-fledged social media vacation, it does provide more clarity and mental space to my day. If you have been thinking about going on a social media vacation, but it seems too daunting or you simply can’t for other reasons, try these steps. They have been helping me.
If you do, let me know how it goes. Are there other daily habits you do that limit your time on social media?