I know, I know. I’m talking about social media again. It’s been just over a week since I drastically cut down on my social media usage though and I wanted to share what I discovered.
I didn’t realize how much being on social networks was affecting my life until I pulled back. When you’re a blogger, your entire job revolves around it. You need to share your content, gain followers, connect, etc, and it forces you to be online. That wasn’t always the case, but it definitely is now.
I’ve been limiting myself to about 20 minutes total a day. That includes time on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter – though I’ve all but dropped that last one. I still spend time on the phone with my friends, looking up recipes, and texting.
I was spending hours online before! My guess is somewhere between three and four. Think about it, that’s not hard to do. You may spend twenty minutes scrolling, commenting, and liking things on Facebook followed by posting your own status and photos. That’s half an hour. Then you head over to Instagram and watch Instastories for ten minutes, scroll through your feed for another fifteen, then edit and post your own. You’re already up to almost an hour of social media time. This doesn’t include time spent checking emails or reading the news.
5 Things I Noticed After I Cut Back On My Social Media Usage
So, the first thing I discovered is that I was online way too much! I didn’t even realize how much time I was wasting. I was addicted. I’d check my phone first thing in the morning and it was the last thing I’d check before bed. When my kids said something funny or I took an adorable picture, my gut instinct was to post it. Whoa. Reality check!
The second thing I realized was how much free time I had when I wasn’t spending it on my phone. You should see how clean my house is now! In other words, I was neglecting other things in favor of working online. And this is tricky, because I really was working. It was a source of income for our family so I told myself the sacrifice was worth it.
I suddenly was more willing to do things with my kids. This is not saying I was ignoring them before, because I truly wasn’t. I’m a homeschooler Mom! But now I’m finding myself playing with my kids more often. We go upstairs together specifically to build towers. We play board games at the kitchen table. We sit down and read. Sometimes, I just watch them play. Previously, I’d be drawn to scrolling on my phone while they play.
Realizing who actually makes the effort to be in your life was another interesting discovery. When I went more quiet on social media, certain friends reached out. They private messaged me, checked in through text, or called to see if I was okay. This doesn’t mean all the other people I know aren’t wonderful, but perhaps we aren’t as close as social media made us seem. Something to think about.
Social media is also a bad trigger for my anxiety. When people post news articles about school shootings or missing children, it makes me anxiety go up and brings my mood down. I feel emotional and on edge. I just can’t handle it. I’m much better off not knowing. For someone like me, being blissfully ignorant is much healthier for my state of mind.
If you asked me six months ago if I was addicted to social media, I’d have told you no. I truly didn’t believe I was, because I was working and it was necessary. But looking back, I’d say I was. Being a blogger was an easy out.
I’m now focusing on a life that is about the here and now. I’m being present with my family and talking to people in real time. I enjoy moments when they happen without feeling the need to share them with the entire world.
Call me old fashion, but sometimes I wish social media was never invented.