AM I BETTER WITHOUT SOCIAL MEDIA?
Social media is an amazing tool, but it's really the face-to-face interaction that makes a long-term impact.- Felicia Day
A few weeks ago I decided to leave the social media platforms Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat.
A renunciation of sorts. Another attachment, another limitation that my mind had a grip on. I let it go.
It had been a long time coming but I had to arrive here in perfect timing. And I believe I did.
I completed two 30 day detoxes just to experiment.
I am one of the first generations on social media. It started for me with Myspace then to Facebook in college. Over 15 years of a digital identity.
Social media isn’t evil or inherently bad. In fact it helped me in a lot of ways. It helped form who I wanted to be.
I was sheltered growing up. Living in a rural area of South Texas. We didn’t have cable TV. Just dial-up the internet that felt like watching paint dry. I wasn't exposed to much.
When I went off to college social media educated me on pop culture, helped me create a social identity (I didn't have one apparently). It connected me with people from different backgrounds and cultures. I fell in love with art and artists. I became obsessed with photography and photographer accounts.
Social media was a life line in some ways. A fast track study on what the rest of the world looked like. It inspired me, gave me goals and showed me what was possible. I was so sheltered and asleep to the rest of the world.
As years passed I must have reinvented myself a dozen times on social media. From relationships status changes, to new hairstyles, to life events, to career paths. It allowed me to publicly change how I showed up in the world. Relationships were not official till publicly displayed, new hairstyles not validated till photo was posted and no adventure went undocumented.
I can see now with clarity the ego. How my own ego showed up with the use of social media.
Slowly as I awakened to the relationship with myself, social media feels more and more like another false identity that is no longer needed.
During the first 30 day detox I became aware of the compulsion to checkout. I was still working at the salon at the time. I would find myself in a lull for 2 or 3 minutes and go to my phone in order to avoid being in the present space. What was I avoiding? What uncomfortable feeling was I seeking an escape from?
Like the frog in boiling water metaphor, social media being the slow boiling pot, me the frog, I was being cooked and didn't even know it.
I was in fact avoiding so many things.
The first detox gave me new eyes to see how many times a day I avoided conversations, eye contact, interactions, the dishes and my own needs.
When my 30 days were over, I re-entered the world of social media. But the distance and objection that had been with that detox lingered. I knew I had overcome something, just not sure what yet.
Fast forward a few months and I felt intuitively moved towards another 30 day detox. During this time I went in with the fear that I would not be able to make any sales and my online business would suffer. I really felt social media was the biggest source of my income and leads. If I leave for 30 days what will happen? My business will fall apart, all the hard work trying to beat the algorithm and doing all the things will be lost forever!?
These were all the fears running through my mind. My ego. If I don't post every day twice a day, respond fast, post pictures, write profound things, entertain, find the right quotes, go live, take pictures of myself, show people what I'm doing…..then it will all fall apart.
I surrendered. I let go. I allowed things to be as they were.
On day 28 of this detox I started to feel anxious. But not in the way you would think. Rather than being anxious and ready to jump back in, I felt dread. I didn't want to get back on.
I had enjoyed my ‘time off’. I enjoyed not taking pictures for the gram, I enjoyed not overthinking clever things to say, I enjoyed not checking my phone every 10 minutes, I enjoyed the boundaries of not responding to messages, I enjoyed being in the moment and I enjoyed focusing on what felt good.
And when I stayed present, when I was where my hands were…..the sales came anyways. I didn't make any less money. That limiting belief was squashed!
Reluctantly, I got back on after 30 days. But again there was more distance there. Distance that I was able to maintain. I started to see the world of social media through a new lens.
My awareness around it had expanded. Expanded in a way that gave me a bigger picture of my role. I had thought, really really thought for so long, that any success I had encountered was BECAUSE of social media. As if It gave me life. As if it had made me. As if it was the source of all potential, wealth and creation. Like what the hell?? Delusional.
I think this was so because of how I first attached to it. It helped me in college, come out of my shell. It helped me form an identity that I then used to show up in the world. It had created a part of me that somewhere down the road I confused as the real me.
Another few months later, I literally woke up to practice my morning writing ritual and I knew the gig was up. I knew that I would be letting it go. I knew in my heart that if I wanted to go deeper in this spiritual journey I must let go of yet another identity.
This came as a surprise to my mind. I had left my very stable job in the pursuit of an online career. How could I let go of social media now? How would I get my stuff out there? How would I ever get another client, sell another course or commission another piece of art?
My mind was totally lost. And this is exactly what it needed to be. Lost.
Who am I? Who will see all the pictures I take? How will people find my website? How will I make any sales? Where will I post my art for sale? These were all the rebuttals from the mind. But I had already made up my heart. I knew the gig was up.
I made an exit video, set an auto response message, made posts and deleted the apps off of my devices. Took a deep breath and felt relief. Like some imaginary shackles had been removed. I felt lighter. Curious. Relieved. Motivated. Playful.
Have you ever felt anxious about breaking up with someone? You feel anxious even though you know it's the right thing to do and as the words come out of your mouth you instantly feel relief? It was like that.
Instead of reaching for my phone, I now reach for pen and paper to work through what I'm feeling. I reach for pen and paper to write ideas. I sit in the feelings. I go for walks. I sit in silence. I focus on appreciation and gratitude in the lulls of the day. I admire the bees, the butterflies. I read books. I highlight text that resonates. If I take pictures it is because I am in love with the moment, exploring its beauty and angles.
I am better without social media.
My inner world is clear, loving, present, calm and confident.
Take the time to explore this 10 minute exercise..
Make sure you have a pen and paper.
Pull out your phone and activate either the Instagram or Facebook app.
First, allow yourself to be an observing witness to your own mind. Create some distance. You are the observer and the mind in you the observed.
I am actually doing this with you so we can explore in real time what this feels like. I am using the browser on my laptop. I want you to note the time, take 2 minutes to scroll on the feed of whichever platform you are on.
Stopping on things you naturally gravitate towards.
Go ahead. Let’s start now. 2 minutes.
Whew, okay I'm back.
I want you to now write down your experience. Here are some questions to get you started.
Was I scrolling for longer than 2 minutes? If so, why?
What was the tone of the posts I saw?
Did anything make me smile?
Did anything make me laugh?
Were there posts that made me feel sad?
Is there anything that is still lingering in my minds eye? How do I feel?
Take the time to explore these questions or write what you feel as if you are writing a review on a trailer to a movie that is about to premier.
What came up for you?
I will share mine in order to give you some context.
Firstly, I stayed on for 4 to 5 minutes. I literally could not get off at 2 minutes.
That's over double the time for this experiment. I was first met with photos of dogs, babies. Made me smile. Then as I scrolled, as if I was unconsciously looking for the ‘dirt’, I came across 2 posts from friends expressing their frustration with their businesses and the people they encounter in their business. This definitely brought my mood down. I started to pass judgement on them, like why would you post this? Don't you know your customers are here looking at this? From here I saw another post where a friend was divulging her discontent for family and some distorted sentences about how people who should care, should care.
I glanced at the clock noticing it had been over 2 minutes but chose to stay in longer. I am not even aware of why.
I then saw an ad using a meme in their marketing that literally was making fun of how hard another company worked to produce content and gain credentials. Their offer promised an easy, no experience necessary way of launching courses. Made me feel bad for those who were working hard and putting in hours of work. Also seemed too good to be true, which usually means it is.
And lastly I exited on a perfectly fit model, in a perfectly clean organized home, wearing a perfectly matching workout outfit, with a perfect smile and tan, selling me a miracle juice that will totally make my life as perfect as hers.
How do I feel?
A bit overly stimulated, sad for those who are struggling and clearly posting to try to make sense of it all, I also have a feeling of missing out, not knowing things about people's lives, out of the loop a little. My vibration was affected by 5 minutes of scrolling. I also know that I'm gonna think about that friend and her post about struggling as a business owner.
Which raises the question: why don't we ask our inner circle, why don't we talk, text in an intimate way with our friends? Why would I know she is struggling via a FB post?
Where is the intimacy between friends? In-to-me-see.
Okay, shaking it off now.
Now imagine this. You compulsively go on this roller coaster ride every 10 minutes.
Studies show that we pick up our phone 1 time every 10 minutes.
There are 24 hours in a day, let's say you sleep 8 of those hours, this means you jump on this roller coaster 96 times a day!
And this is just 1 roller coaster. Think of all the other things you encounter in a day that change your vibration?
I feel like it is important here to say, social media isn't all bad. There are great things too. You have to explore this relationship. It's between you, your vibration and the platforms.
What do you desire for yourself? Deeper more meaningful connections? Authenticity? Self discovery? Presence? Letting go of ego driven identities?
These are all things my soul desires. I have a hunch you desire them too.
Here is the truth bomb.
All of the things you desire, all of what you want is not on the other side of a screen, keyboard or phone.
It is in your present moment. It is with the people in your household, co-workers, grocery store clerk, dinner party guests, clients….It is in the quiet moments alone, your morning ritual, pen to paper, walks, hikes, bike rides, gardening.
It's in your ability to be where your hands are.
It's in your ability to be aware of your vibration.
It's in your ability to do all things with love.
It's the ability to see and feel your truth in this moment and what the moment is asking of you.
Everything you have ever wanted in all of life as you know it, is available to you in this NOW moment by way of becoming, being, a vibrational match to the thought of the desires.
Social media takes us away from the NOW.
It dilutes our thoughts, attention, and INTENTION. It is the closest thing to the mind eraser that Will Smith had in the movie Men In Black.
The moment we leave the present moment to escape into our devices we erase the intentions of our innermost desires.
We dilute the vibrational waters of our soul.
Look, I know this sounds dramatic.
I love the internet. This blog and my website are obviously in the ethers of the internet.
Social media is a platform for the ego. Low vibration distractions from reality. You can appreciate it, see some of the beautiful things that it shows you, appreciate its position in the ecosystem of our economy but do not confuse it as YOU.
Do not let it influence your vibration. Do not allow it to take you away from your life. The life that is happening in this NOW moment. Do not allow it to take you away from the real life present moment connections that are in your EVERY NOW moment.
Thank you for being on this adventure with me.
Thank you for reading my words and know that I am here to show you that another way is possible.
You to have the ability to create worlds. Within you is everything you could ever need to create the life of your dreams.
As Always I am rooting for you.
If you would like some 1:1 coaching or a free 15 minute consultation to support you in the next step, message me.message me