A week ago I decided to do a new detox that I have never really done before. One that would enhance not just my body, but more importantly, my mind and soul. I decided to do a social media detox. Most people won’t admit how much social media means to them. For me, still being in the beginning stages of starting a blog, it has meant a lot. Trying to build an organic following means having to post regularly and often. Which often means spending more time trying to get the perfect picture of a moment rather than actually enjoying it. And making sure every (supposed relaxing) moment of you drinking a cup of coffee is captured on your Insta Stories. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love looking at all the beautifully arranged photos that others post. I love getting on my feed and instantly being inspired by another’s wonderful story. I, also, love sharing my moments with others in a creative way. However, taking this very short detox opened my eyes to the feelings and motivations I have towards using social media platforms.
In just the first day of this stint, I had already noticed a positive change in my routine. During the week, immediately opening my Instagram isn’t an option, but I do manage to get in scrolling time before racing through a morning workout before going to work. Not scheduling in time to peruse social media, I have had more time to not only drink my coffee while reading my morning devotional, but actually getting to reflect on the message and not just rushing through another step so I can hurry and see what went on in cyber space while I was sleeping. My head has been clearer and I’m not spending precious moments that I have with my two year old before she heads off to school trying to take a picture of her so everyone can see just how cute she is on that day (especially since she hates me taking pictures and yells at me every time). The first day of this detox ended with such a feeling a freedom and relief. Relief that I didn’t give in and check my account. Relief that I didn’t feel the need to post another picture to my story. Relief that my cell phone wasn’t almost dead by midafternoon. There was such a sense of freedom. One that I honestly got addicted to.
This detox started on a Thursday afternoon, so basically I was starting it on a weekend. Which I thought would be difficult cause lying in bed on a Saturday morning and just scrolling through my feed is oddly pleasing. But, I was wrong. My weekend was that much better because I wasn’t constantly giving into the urge to stop what I was doing, meaning not paying attention to the people I was spending time with, and check to see what everyone else in the world was doing.
I honestly thought this no social media rule would only last through the weekend, but when Monday morning got here, the last thing I wanted to do was check my feed. It was such an incredible feeling, and that’s when I decided to do this for the entire week. It’s so crazy how we don’t realize how much of our daily thoughts and feelings are centered on what we saw on Facebook, Instagram (my drug of choice), Twitter, etc. until you decide to not use them for a while. It really can shape a distorted image of what life should really be like. You see this gorgeous picture of someone’s white marble kitchen and you think “why can’t I have a house like that”. You see a blogger in an amazing outfit and think, “I wish I was skinny enough to wear that”. You see a picture of a perfect little family and think “I wish my life was that happy”. It’s what’s behind these pictures is what we don’t see. You don’t see the clutter that is hidden in the perfect picture of someone’s house. You don’t see all two hundred pictures that were taken before they actually got that outfit to look perfect. Now, when I see the happy family/friend photos, I’ve never been that person who immediately screams “That’s fake!” I thoroughly enjoy seeing happy moments from my friends, and the people I follow that I’ve never even met before. With all the negative things we see about politics, worldly events, and everything else going on, it’s nice to have a break from negative attention. But, you also have to remember that everyone has a story. Just because you see one perfect picture, doesn’t mean that life is perfect. Cause no one’s is. And when you’re having a bad day and see someone’s picture of the perfect portrayal of what life should be like, it can do one of two things: it can either raise your spirits or it can bring you more down. More times than not, it’s the last one.
After saying all of this, I can say that I was actually really scared to write this post about my thoughts on social media. I have thought what others might think about it. Will everything I post be looked at differently now? Do not take this post wrong. I love any creative platform that inspires you to do something different. Maybe it’s making a green smoothie someone put a picture up of. Maybe it’s doing a workout that you otherwise wouldn’t have done had you not have seen a motivating post of someone else’s. Maybe it’s posting an awesome picture of your Saturday afternoon. I honestly do get a lot of happiness out of looking at beautiful photos on Instagram. It was the amount of happiness I was getting that made me take a break. Happiness that I could easily get doing something else if I could just put down my phone for a while.
I have always been a believer in doing regular detoxes for your body. But, doing one for your mind and soul is equally as important.
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