I know… this is funny coming from a social media manager who spends most of her time on Facebook. Over the last 6 years, I have committed myself 100% to being connected, switched on, available and non-stop social. This has resulted at times in burnout, tiredness, resentment, grumpiness, feeling that my online world was more my reality and missing life is it passed me by. Relate? I missed my friends, I missed my happy relationship with my husband, I missed playing with my children with no care in the world (ie. no phone in the pocket) and I missed just planting my feet on the ground and breathing in the healing oxygen around me, finding mindfulness and being in the moment. There was always an excuse that I was too busy.
Our soul’s hunger to live life consciously, with intention and awareness.
What I worry about these days is that the balance has shifted. Often, especially for our youth, online is now the real world. There is a new code. Resulting in being so disconnected from life itself that we see are seeing problems with youth suicide depression anxiety and relationships breaking down because no longer can they relate properly face-to-face, eye to eye or ask for help from a human being. Loving non- sexual contact is missing, conversations, the sharing of feelings and the breaking down of real emotions at times, which is so healthy for us all. It’s like we are numb – raw emotion judged as a weakness. I worry that often we base our worthiness on a comment replying to a post. Counting the likes on a picture and waiting excitedly if we see people comment on what we’ve done that day.
Yes, social media is necessary. It’s important and I believe compulsory in the life that we live at the moment. For business, it’s a communication tool that stretches your message out to thousands of people, it builds relationships and if done right, highlights your business journey straight to the people who are looking and who then find trust in you before they even pick up the phone to buy. There is no denying that there are many, many positives social media brings. I love it for what it is. I enjoy sitting down with a coffee or a glass of wine and scrolling my newsfeed and seeing what all of my friends and families are up to. Various groups are formed that offer support, networking, encouragement and have proven to better the lives of others. There is a place, a time and a need for this online world.
What saddens me, is that families are missing the real moments. Ourselves were included in this list until recently. It’s easy to get pulled into to the habits that is, looking down at your phone when somebody is talking. Half listening, prioritising Facebook scrolling or taking photos over engaging with people. Being constantly sidetracked watching movies with your kids, but not really watching them. Missing out on moments as your children jump on the trampoline, running a race, asking you to watch that dance, sing Frozen for the hundredth time or noticing that new flower in your garden. Maybe you have watched that dance for the hundredth time and again, there is no denying that parents are entitled to use their phone as the device that has made to be. We look at school work, we order stationery, we check friends playdates, groceries, emails, exercise targets, banking… everything is done on the screen these days.This is often what the children don’t see however, all they see is that your focus on something far more important than them.
I am excited to share with you the changes that we have seen in our family once we became more conscious of the life we live in, right now. Facing up to the habits we had formed and how little tweaks on these habits changed our family dynamic. We started small, with the intention to aim high. One habit at a time we looked at closely and wondered how we could make it work better for us and be in control of it again. I hear every day, the struggle that people have with finding the right balance in this area. If somebody messages them there is this instant urgency to reply, especially if that person has seen that you’ve opened the message. We carry emails on our phone with us, so they can be checked 20 times a day as opposed to working at a store where we would have dedicated time to check your emails. Using it right, for a valuable communication tool, then how a moment later we find ourselves scrolling aimlessly throughout friends newsfeed and wasting an hour of our work time. People feel confused, ripped off and that they are failing in all areas.
My focus this year, is to help you with strategies to gain control again.
- Whether this is with your children and the boundaries you put in place with technology.
- Whether this is for you and your mindset, protecting yourself against burnout.
- Whether this is finding that sweet spot between business and life where you master your time and stop wasting it.
- Whether this is a focus on your relationship, looking up, engaging and talking again.
- Whether this is to find yourself, to give yourself some space, some time for you that you haven’t had in years because every spare moment is spent checking out social media pages.
However this may help you, I’m hoping that by sharing our family’s journey to be more aware and conscious of your social media behaviour that this will help change your life like it has ours.
Some of this may seem simple, some may be a big challenge and quite confronting.
We are not perfect either. We have a long way to go as a family and we slip back into old habits quite easily. It’s a day by day commitment to being the driver of this online space. Often we need to check in again and see how it’s working for us all. That’s why there is a family meeting component to this challenge. Everybody is different, everybody will have different roles, different boundaries and different expectations. What I suggest is not law, it is shared from personal knowledge both from drowning in social media as well as coming out the other side feeling empowered, free and balanced (if there is such a word) that I am living again, I have come out of the rabbit warren to be able to help others.
I have put together a social media detox challenge and I encourage you to join. This can be done via tortoise or hare pace. Over two weeks (day by day) or stretched over 14 weeks, focusing on one step at a time. I will cover boundaries, relationships, connecting, mindfulness, switching off and tips and tricks to help you feel just as switched on to life around you… but in a much healthier way.
*I have also created a bonus date night challenge for those of you in relationships, especially parents who struggle to find the time to connect with your spouse and have lost the fire in your belly to be spontaneous, invested and even happy. If you are more like roommate these days then this challenge is for you. To be honest, we started here then worked our way through the challenge because in a family dynamic, it really does start with you, the adult, the parents, the man, the woman, the husband, the wife and this influence filters down to the children who are watching you the most and whose lives are being affected more than anybody else.
Click here to request to join the secret Facebook discussion group where you can wait for the launch and share your progress once we start >>> SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX CHALLENGE
See you in there,
Love Pip x