(originally posted 9 June 2018)
“Turn off your email; turn off your phone; disconnect from the Internet; figure out a way to set limits so you can concentrate when you need to, and disengage when you need to. Technology is a good servant but a bad master.”
Over the course of the past few months I have been making an effort (sometimes a bigger effort than others) to unplug from my cell phone and be truly present in my life. I’m not gonna lie, it’s really easier said than done. But that doesn’t make it impossible.
Towards the beginning of the year I tried to quit completely cold turkey for a few reasons. One; I just wanted to challenge myself because I didn’t know if I’d be able to do it. Two; I had an extremely important national registry exam to study for and social media was a giant distraction. Three; I wanted to spend more quality time with the people present in my life and use my time more wisely, be more productive.
Well anyone who’s tried to quit anything cold turkey will tell you; GOOD LUCK. It’s tough! And saying goodbye to social media was no different. And honestly, it didn’t last long. I fell back into my mindless scrolling ways faster than I wanted to and stayed there longer than I should have.
A little while later I decided to try it again, except I wasn’t going to go cold turkey this time. It started in April, I believe, and I started with deleting everything expect for Instagram. I chose to keep Instagram because I had just started up @Bethesunshinee and wanted to put real effort into growing my page which takes consistency. After awhile I realized how much I use Facebook for my blog as well so I re- downloaded that too. But I kept Snapchat and Twitter off my phone.
Here is how I’ve unplugged without completely disconnecting.
When I originally deleted everything besides Instagram I went into my setting on the app and disabled any sort of push notification on all my accounts. When I eventually re-downloaded Facebook I did the same thing, I did not allow the app to send me any notifications. I can not tell how much of a tremendous help this has been! I like to say, “Out of sight, out of mind.” When I’m not constantly getting messages, notifications, or friends requests through out the day, social media is on my mind wayyy less because there is not constant reminder. Before I made this switch I’d be distracted at work multiple times a day. Now, I browse my social media briefly in the morning while I’m getting ready for work and I typically don’t touch it again until I’m back at home- 9/10 hours later.
This has done two things for me. One; it’s allowed me to be more present in my work and I’ve been able to keep my priorities straight getting a lot more done than I was before. Two; it allows me to be fully engaged when I am focused on social media. Instead of mindless scrolling out of boredom, I am using my time more intentionally and it’s made social media much more enjoyable.
Another thing I’ve been doing for quite some times now, definitely over a year by now, is unfollowing negative accounts, accounts that just get on my nervous, or accounts that simply serve me no purpose. Sometimes this has to include friends, co-workers, and family members. Don’t feel bad for unfollowing others who do not bring you joy. And if you’re not ready to pull the plug just yet, you can always mute these accounts so you limit the amount of content you see from them!
Doing this has really made my social media experience more full and fulfilled because the content and posts I see from others leaves me feeling happy, excited, joyful, motivated, and inspired. And I believe that is what social media is for. If you constantly get on social media to compare yourself to others, or read post after post of people complaining, or always see things that just irritate you– you need to do a following clean out. I guarantee if you rid yourself of those accounts that serve no purpose, or serve a negative purpose, your social media experience will heighten exponentially. If you don’t believe me, give it a try!
1- Delete useless apps or apps that serve no positive purpose (I bet after a while you won’t even miss them)!
2- Turn OFF post notifications from all apps!
3- Unfollow negative Nacy’s and allow for more positive joyous accounts on your feed!
“Sometimes the best way to recharge our batteries is to unplug them.”
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes….. including you.”
“Put your phone away for a day. Make some memories that no one knows about. Make some memories that are just yours. “