If February’s challenge was the hardest for me, April’s challenge was the second hardest. (Which surprised me quite a bit – I thought it was going to be a lot easier than it turned out to be.) The following are my thoughts from my personal experience with April’s challenge, Disconnecting (to Reconnect).
What if ‘to hustle’ meant to pause and smell the flowers?
I have shared my opinions regarding social media on EG a few times before, specifically in the post The Parts We Choose to Share. To summarize that post, I’ve always just felt like – do you. If you enjoy spending hours staging props for a photo and editing lighting and using filters, DO IT. If you feel lead to share a photo of the piles of laundry and mile long to-do list because that makes you feel “real,” DO IT. If you care to spend your evenings in various Twitter Chats, DO IT. I don’t think there’s one right way of “doing” social media – it does become personal and whether it’s to simply connect you to others and them to you, or if it serves as a place of inspiration and self-expression – one isn’t better than the other. You have the power to make social media what you want it to be for you.
I think it’s also really important to remember that social media also has power on its own as well – one that can so easily gobble you up, twist your thoughts and perceptions of others and yourself, and then spit you out – leaving you feeling exhausted, defeated, and less-than. Oh yes, social media is certainly powerful. Isn’t it funny how deep down, we know that no one lives a perfect life, and yet after spending quite some time on Instagram, we can begin to feel like maybe we just aren’t doing enough in our own life? The comparison trap is a real thing and I imagine it feels pretty cozy living in the numbers of followers and in the shadows of photos.
I knew all of this to be true, but I think the one thing I didn’t realize was how automatic it was for me to grab my phone and click on a social media app when I got bored. There were times I didn’t even know I was bored but apparently I was because my phone was in my hand. Even when I took an hour away from writing to watch one of my favorite TV shows (which I will not disclose here because that’s another confession for another day), not even the commercials could entertain me – I was immediately on Instagram or Snapchat. (I won’t lie to you- I didn’t “get” Snapchat. Like, for years. But now I’m obsessed and think it’s hilarious.) Seriously though, when in the world did I condition my mind to be busy ALL THE TIME?? No wonder I’ve been feeling so exhausted!
Just as this month’s 12 Months of Bliss quote says, taking the time to connect with others is important. But so is taking the time to connect with yourself – and, for me, that doesn’t happen when I’m on social media.
I also really love social media at times. I love that it’s so easy and quick to connect with people who I don’t normally see on a weekly basis. I love the freedom it gives to creatively express parts of my heart, where my mind is at in the moment, and to share with all of you some of my favorite moments of the things and people I love. I love that when I’m having a bad day, I know I can to go a few specific Snapchat or Instagram accounts and instantly laugh or smile. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with any of that. As with most things in life, I think it’s more so about balance than it might be about doing something or not doing it, or doing it a certain way. Different strokes for different folks, right?
While I didn’t quite clock in my full 192 hours of social media-free this month (I failed 2 days), this month’s challenge did teach me a few important lessons: 1. I have the power to adjust things in my life when they begin to feel off-balance, and 2. I don’t need permission to take a day (or two) (or five) off of social media. The world will not in fact end, my friends will still be there when I make my way back (or don’t).
Balance. Space. Going with the flow. And a nice break here and there. Ah, breathing easier now 🙂
Psst! Notice anything different here? There is no linkup 🙁 Apparently while I was hiatusing, my Inlinkz account closed and I have decided to keep it closed for the time being. If you took part in this month’s Twelve Months of Bliss challenge and have a post to share, please include it in the comments below – I would LOVE to read it! Also, if you tweet your post this week, tag me and I will retweet & share it with my followers!