Let me start by saying this: the number of direct messages that I received after announcing that I was going to take a little “social media detox” blew my mind. Everything from messages about how much you will miss my presence online (thank you, so much) to how you feel like you’ve been denying the need to put your phone down and do the same (if you feel this: do it). All of this to say, it wasn’t really an easy decision and it was one that I attempted to ignore for about a month, and it’s one of those things that i’ll probably be doing more often moving forward. Honestly, I think it’s one of those things that we all need to make an effort to do from time to time. It’s crazy how automatic it had become for me to just grab my phone, click that little IG emoticon (is that what it’s called?) and get to scrolling… like, for real, it became an out of body thing that I didn’t even realize that I was doing so often– until I chose to step away for a bit.
I absolutely love IG, the connections that it has led to have been some of the best relationships and partnerships of my life– but, I truly don’t believe that we were intended to do the majority of our engaging with people from an app and a phone screen. As I looked around while we were out in restaurants, stores, etc over the last week I realized just how our phones have become our best friends. I saw so many family’s out to eat together and they were all staring into their laps, not speaking. I can’t lie, i’ve definitely been guilty of this before– but, from the outside (meaning, taking a phone detox) looking in, it’s truly alarming. I realize now that I want to set firm boundaries when it comes to phone use for our family once our kids get older. I’ve mentioned in another post but i’ll mention it again here– R and I don’t even sleep with our phones in our bedroom. We read this study about how the radiation that comes out of phones drastically affects the human body and it was enough to freak us out to the point of not even allowing our phones to sleep next to our beds anymore, but even in our bedroom. I think back to college when I used to sleep with that little thing under my pillow and omg, it scares me. I bet I could’ve done a lot better on those Biology exams if I wasn’t frying my brain with my cell phone (this is prob so not true, but let me think it is for a minute lol). Something that I learned while taking a small break from the habit that my phone has become in my life is that life goes on. It was definitely a strange sensation the first few days and I found myself reaching for it when I prepped food, when the kids were doing something funny and also when I was on my monthly Costco haul and found some new items that freaking rock. It made me realize that I really do love sharing my day to day life with those who choose to read and to follow along, so, I am not going anywhere and I am not planning to slow down anytime soon– but, what I am planning to do is to listen to my heart and my soul and when I feel the slightest sense of “you need a break” moving forward I plan to honor myself enough to do just that.
There have been so many moments in the last week that I have picked up my phone to capture a photo or a funny thing happening in our home– a few days ago, I placed Lennon in the pack and play so that I could go up to get Luca out of bed and I came down the stairs to find her gnawing on Remi’s chew toy– Luca must have dropped it in the pack and play without me realizing (bc lets be honest, there are like fifteen baby chew toys in there #teething) and I immediately picked up my phone to superzoom (you know I love superzoom) my girl eating my dogs toy,*insert hand to face emoji here. I don’t really think that there is anything wrong with my initial reaction, but, what I want to be sure of is that I am truly practicing mindfulness in my everyday life and not watching it go by through a phone screen.
Moving forward I am going to make it a goal to put my phone aside when eating any and all meals (after I snap a picture, of course). I take time to prepare the food that my family eats and when I am more distracted by my phone I am unable to truly appreciate the details of the meal and either that time together as a family or that moment of silence and rest. Another thing that I plan to do moving forward is to really implement my “no phone during witching hour” new years resolution. I was off to a really good start and then I found that I started slipping when I was sharing via IG stories my dinner prep– next thing I knew I was responding to DM’s while cooking and before I knew it so much time had passed and my babes needed my attention. This doesn’t mean that I am not going to still share recipes and “in the kitchen” stories because truth is, those are some of my favorite, but what it does mean is that I may take a bit longer getting back when it comes to direct messages asking specifics about the current recipe. Does that make sense? At the end of the day, I am trying to focus more on balance and mindfulness when it comes to phone use.
It’s crazy because this whole excessive phone use thing is so new to our world. This is all new territory and we truly have no idea how this whole thing is going to turn out for us in the end. Never before in the history of the world have people been so attached and engaged with cell phones. My Dad still has a flip phone and as much as it makes me crazy because he gets lost all the time (hello, Waze exists for a reason) and he gets upset when he can’t see the kids every few days (hello, Facetime), I really respect that he knows where a cell phone fits into his life.. don’t get me wrong, I would love if he would get with the times, but if he chooses not to, I appreciate that too.
Am I alone in this? I feel like it’s such a tough balance to strike and it’s even harder when sharing our life is something that I thoroughly enjoy, but as I mentioned above, I am not going to fight my feelings so hard moving forward when I feel like a little break is needed. Hints that you may need a little break: 1) when you feel pressured to post a photo to IG (you know what i’m referring to– “oh shoot, I haven’t posted a picture in ___ days.”) 2) when you find yourself scrolling and the longer you scroll the worse you start to feel about yourself, your life, your current job, boyfriend, home, car, makeup drawer, contour skills, lack of a thigh gap & abs–you freaking name it. What you see on your IG should make you feel better, not worse– make it a point to detox who you follow monthly. If someone annoys the F out of you, makes you feel badly about yourself, unfollow them– life goes on and you are ALLOWED to do this. 3) when you find yourself making plans just so that you can share them on IG (debated saying this or not because I know that a lot of people out there use IG as their main source of income and as their “job” so if that’s the case, obviously this isn’t true for you– but, for all other people, I feel this is a whisper that maybe you need to take a little step back)– aka, if you are tired, worn out and much rather stay at home in your sweats and zit cream but your friends want to go out and you find yourself thinking more about what you can post to IG instead of the time that you can share with those people/what you can gain from the experience– stay home, you’ll never regret self care, but you will damn sure regret getting yourself ready to go do something that you really don’t want to do when you get there and the lighting sucks and no “IG worthy” pics come of the whole fiasco. promise.
Finally, another reason that I chose to detox from my phone was to spend that now “free time” making goals and planning for the future. I started posting to my IG stories one year ago on my 27th birthday– (I turned 28 this past Wednesday while I was off social media) and the whole thing kind of started organically and out of nowhere– without any direction and plan ahead. As much as I love when things happen like this (authenticity), I also know that successful things require some planning and direction. I came up with a few goals that I plan to focus on for not only IG, but also for my blog for this upcoming year. I am excited, I am motivated and I am more determined than ever before to stay true to myself, to be honest and authentic with those of you who spend your precious moments engaging with me.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this post! Please tell me how you balance your phone use (or if you do), how you implement rules for your family/growing children, how you hold yourself accountable to be present and mindful in this life when the world is literally at our fingertips, etc. I know that I can’t be the only one experiencing this holdup, so let’s do this together.
the world at our fingers & right in front of our eyes, look up. xo, G