social media nad the obsession with likes

What I’ve learned from unplugging

It’s approaching midnight and I have a big day tomorrow. Kids to school, a stressful work day ahead. I have to remember to pack my work lap top and take it back, lunches, pay those bills.

But I can’t get off my phone. I’m not doing anything in particular. I’m scrolling facebook, playing some inane games I don’t necessarily like but hey, they take my mind off things. I really should be in bed, but I’ll have a look at what’s going on over on my twitter feed. They could be some witty back and forth happening. Aren’t some people so pithy and on point?

I’ll check my emails again for the hundredth time, but there’s nothing new. Sensible people are long since in bed. It’s after midnight now and I will turn into a zombie from the Thriller video clip if I don’t go to bed soon. But still I scroll.

There’s so many articles now about the insomnia caused by using devices before bed. I know that, I have read them, usually via my facebook feed around midnight. I can’t stop. Maybe you can’t either. So I did something about it. I logged off. I unplugged. I kept my hand away from the on switch. This is what I found out:

 

I don’t miss it

I thought I needed to like everyone’s pictures of their happy lives on facebook. Send everyone messages for their birthdays and keep up with breaking news. Nothing has changed because I don’t. It’s all fine. Social media is a great way to stay connected with people, but there so much information to keep up with. I found it didn’t matter if I didn’t know everything after all.

 

I feel freer

I have more time in my day now. I logged off for a month and I achieved so many other things! I also wasn’t thinking about what moments were instagram worthy and what weren’t. I still lived, who cares if it’s visually appealing?

 

I felt I found out who my friends were

Is it someone who likes an occasional post of mine and I never see or speak to? No, of course not. I know that, but I think social media has a way of drawing you in and making you think that this is real life. It isn’t. I now make it rule to connect with people more deeply than through a facebook like.

 

I sleep better

I’m less anxious. I have never been one to compare what I am, have achieved and ate for breakfast, yet that inevitably happens on social media – you compare your everyday with someone’s highlights. It’s not fun, it’s definitely not accurate and it wasn’t adding anything to my peace of mind.

I also am not seeing loads of horrible things happening in the world and feeling like it’s hopeless. The algorithms used to show you what social media thinks you want to see, were showing me things I really didn’t need reminding of over and over. If I clicked on an article about some horrible child abuse, I keep seeing articles about horrible child abuse. If I visit a link about the impact of a Donald Trump policy, I keep seeing every doomsday prediction about the Trump era. I don’t want to be uninformed. I don’t want to bury my head. But I also don’t want to be bombarded with negativity that clouds my hope. I need my hope! Hope is the only thing standing between us and chaos where the bad guys win. The good guys will win, but only if they are taking a measured approach to analyse the situation, not wallow in it.

 

I have a different routine now. I log in one a day to one social media platform. If I see a piece of news that’s upsetting, I ask if you knowledge will be best served by reading it. I focus on what builds me up to face the day. Some creative activity, knocking over to do lists and getting ready for the next day by keeping organised. I feel so much better for it. Of course that means there is less happening on the Pick Me Up Parcels Facebook page, but that’s okay. Quality over quantity I say!

 

Have you tried unplugging? Pick Me Up Parcels is no offering some individual pick me ups if you need a quick fix. You can now send someone a postcard, order a scratch and sniff sticker pack and mail out an inspirational book to yourself or someone you know who needs a bit of cheering, and maybe a new routine.