What I learned from a social media fast
This lent season ( not for a particular religious reason) I have decided to give up social media for personal use. I found myself, like most people getting too caught up and addicted to social media. My drug of choice was instagram. My habit of scrolling was ridiculous . There wasn't anything I missing except real life. I would often recommend to my clients, when they complain of comparing and low self esteem, to take a break from social media now it was my turn.
The first week found my self automatically hitting the instagram icon. This is when I realized that scrolling had become a habit. I had to be intentional about not "involuntary" opening up the app. I eventually deleted the app because it was taking too much effort to try to control myself. Sometimes we have to have safeguards in place to help us achieve our goals.
After 10 days, I began not thinking about social media, but my thoughts had to work on something else. Lucklily for me, I had my business to focus on. In retrospective, I was probably a little obsessive about it. I was reading all sorts books about evidenced based practices (CBT, DBT etc) . Research how to grow my business and learned to nuts and bolts of running a group practice . This shift have benefited my business and my clients. My business grew tremendously as result. I was able to hire 2 new clinicians and expand to a second offfice. However there was still an imbalance.
Around 20 days, I started to see that I was missing ( and missed) from my online community. I began to notice that I was beginning to miss out on information that was not important. There is this notion that we receive our news from social media. Somehow, I still received important news that matter via other channels of communication .
About a month in, I almost forgot about social media. It reminded of dieting and losing a taste for certain food group. I noticed that I didn't take as many pictures as I normally would have. This blew my mind. Have I became on of those people who did things "for the gram" ?
As I write this post, It is the 40th day. The intention the social media fast was to be more present in life and focus on my goals such as increasing exercise and mediating. I wish I could say eliminating social media was the cure. It didn't . It was a start. As with any change, my mind and body spent over half the time resisting. The key to change is consistentcy . It may not take exerted effort to implement change. It is a long game, Everyday (one day at a time) will put to closer to achieving your goals .