"Going Dark" - As in social media free days.
I realize I've already struck panic into your body as I say "social media free". Palms are getting a bit sweaty and heart is starting to race. But what do you mean Jen? Why would I do that? And why the hell is that a self care thing?
It's a self care for many reasons.
Let's start with the fact that most social media is a time suck. It drains minutes/hours from our days with no productivity or real satisfaction. Leaving us with our to do list still unchecked and time drained from things you could have been doing otherwise. (Okay enough of the guilt trip Jen)
Next, we usually scroll through staring at people's awesome photos of girls nights, parties, new cars, kid's early development milestones, gorgeous new haircuts, abs and whatever else that makes us ourselves feel slightly inadequate/jealous in the moment. How does that serve us positively?
Finally, and I think most importantly, it consumes our thoughts. Whether we are aware of it or not. We see 500 images images of women with purple lipstick and all of a sudden it's ingrained in our minds we like purple lipstick. Seriously. That's how it works. We consume every billboard, Facebook ad and t.v commercial without even really thinking about it. (THAT is a whole other post). Taking time away from these things helps us reconnect with what it is WE like and what WE find beautiful.
Last weekend I was in a 3.5 day mediation teacher training weekend and we were told not to have our phones in the room, and suggested even restricting social media in the evenings of these days. I took it seriously and "went dark" for 3 days. I deleted Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook messenger off my phone.
Since it was meditation teacher training, we were obviously meditating a lot and I had time to think about what it is I like and I want without interruption. I felt quite rejuventated and once I got over the habit times of picking up my phone it was quite comfortable. I realized also sometimes I was picking up my phone just to avoid certain sensations (like embarassment or awkwardness) and I had to kind of overcome those, rather then run from them.
Sooooooo this week for self care is being away from social media. Maybe a day, maybe a couple, maybe a week. Now of course I realize many people have jobs on social media, don't worry I have suggestions for you too.
Tips on "going dark":
- Delete the apps from your phone. Not being able to see those notifications wont tempt you to look.
- Make a status. In case you know people communicate with you there. Make a status and anyone that needs your number can message you and get it.
- Find yourself bored in a line up at the bank? Chat with the person next to you! "Hey I like your shoes" or "chilly today!" are good conversation starters.
- For my social media managing friends. It's unlikely you can go completely "dark" BUUUUUUT you can schedule posts on certain outlets. (Which I know most of you know).
- Log in to facebook pages through the Facebook Page Manager app rather then your personal account. Be there just for the work.
- Still find yourself scrolling through IG and "liking pictures to create relationships" for your business? Set a timer on your phone before you log in. 10 minutes you should be able to be in and out with posting your thing, a few comments and likes a long the way. This by the way, if you really need a selling point my social media peeps, is a time saving strategy, making you more productive and staying on target with the task!
- Fun bonus: keep a journal of those times you would have pulled out your phone for and did instead. Example: At a redlight (guilty), instead I sang a song at the top of my lungs. Example: Waiting outside of the school to pickup kids, instead I chatted with another mom.
Maybe plan a time you know you can be a little slower or just say "fuck it" and pick a date. Plan how many days you are "going dark" and stick to it.
Jen, The Bitchin' Housewife
(P.S notice I didnt add any of my FB, Tiwtter, IG or Snapchat links in the post?)