Announcing my One Month with (Almost) No Social Media
I've written before about my easy addiction to iPhones and social media. And truthfully, the addiction hasn't gone anywhere.
The pattern looks a little like this:
Sit down to nurse baby. Surf Facebook. (Most of the time), feel enraged/irritated/depressed with the amount of political and shadow-filled posts painting a rather bleak depiction of the state of the world and humanity. Appreciate the clever and funny posts by some friends, momentarily feel a sense of connection, quickly followed by the realization that it's been so long since we held actual space or conversation. Continue scrolling in search of another post to smother that feeling of sadness. Be interrupted by the needs of one of my other children, carrying over the irritation/depression/anxiety/guilt from whatever I was just reacting to. Feel awful for being so snappy with my children and wonder what my problem is.
A short while later, go to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee. Pick up my phone while the beans are grinding, because apparently I cannot just be still for two minutes. Begin scrolling through Instagram. Become immersed in some lovely photos, or compelling stories. Ten minutes pass and I hear my daughter yelling at me. She may or may not have been trying to get my attention for the last two minutes. My coffee beans have long since finished grinding, and I've yet to even begin brewing my coffee. Sigh, as I look at the clock and bemoan the list of things to do and the short amount of time to get them done.
Fast forward a short while. Sit at the laptop to steal in a few minutes of creative work. Baby is down for her morning nap. Oldest is off at school. Middle is happily occupied with a toy or Sesame Street. Begin a blog draft. It feels so good to tackle some website stuff! Yay! Look! I'm being productive! Three minutes tick by. I'm fixing a sentence, trying to make it flow better. Suddenly it's as if my arm has a life of its own. I am reaching for my phone beside me. Ahhhh Instagram again. Something shiny. So nice to see what the online tribe is up to! Then I am sucked down a rabbit hole of checking out who follows who, ahhhh, this person's feed looks interesting... Hear the baby on the monitor. Yes, nap time is already over. Blog draft? Three sentences written.
Later that day, sit to nurse the baby again and reach for the trusty phone. I begin to check my email when I come across a piece of correspondence that doesn't sit well. Close it. Open Facebook. Repeat pattern of the morning. Close Facebook. Open Instagram. Am bitten by baby who is wanting to play.
Late afternoon. My eldest has gotten off the bus. He pulls out his homework and begins to complete it at the kitchen table as I am prepping dinner. The younger two are napping. Waiting for the oil to heat in the pan, I pick up my phone. A few moments go by, and I shamefully realize that my son has been talking to me. He's been telling me about his day, his back to me at the table, unaware that I've been completely immersed in the little devilish piece of technology. My heart aches. How much of the story did I miss? I look around. Not nearly was accomplished today, and the other two kids will be awake soon.
It is true that there is always something to be done in a busy household. But I am missing the moments. The precious moments of quiet. Of breath. Of catching the morning sunlight drift in across my nursing babe's face. My nursing babe whose age will soon be labeled in years rather than months.
I'm missing the excited chatter of my three year old. The imaginative stories that only her unique mind can spin about dancing ballerinas who turn into ponies who roll in the dirt. I'm missing the way she still says "dat" instead of "that," and how one day I'll look up and she won't be wearing one of her favourite costume dresses or tutus.
I'm missing the implicit trust of my seven year old. His desire to still share the happenings of his day with his mum. One day, I'll be labeled as "not understanding," and he'll rush off after school to be at the park with his friends rather than sit at the table to chat with me. I'm missing the way he so easily forgives when he does catch me not in the moment with him.
I'm not a terrible person. I'm not even a terrible mum.
And yet, I am embarrassed and full of painful shame. I want to do better by them. Their eager, sweet, innocent, impressionable hearts deserve it.
I know that parenting is trying. That some moments are tedious. But I can choose to face what arises within me and learn from it, to teach from it, or I can continue to check out and down the road come face to face with a whole litany of other regrets.
I'm a human.
A human who has become sucked into the enticing world of social media. The magical world that allows one to create and nurture bonds with people across the globe. Which is healing and strengthening, certainly. I'm beyond grateful for the connections and friends I have made thanks to blogging and social media. I'm grateful for the ways in which I get to share my ideas and my Light. It's become a powerful platform from which I can be the conduit of Spirit, empowerment, and enlightenment that I wish to be. It's become an invaluable tool with which I have opened up my throat and expression.
But it has also become my distraction. My automatic numbing mechanism when there is even a split second of silence or stillness that my Ego is fearful of. You see, in silence we face the stories that we'd rather not be with. We're given the opportunity to let them bubble up so that we can digest and release them. But facing them first and foremost is rarely a comfortable process.
It has also become a buffer between myself and where I am physically, moment to moment. To know where I'd like to go next, to co-create and manifest my future, I need to be clear on where I am. And I cannot do that with my face in a phone screen.
It has become a thorn between my children and I. I can't bring my attention and any sense of spacious gentleness to them if I am carrying the energy of countless others on social media.
It has become a source of undue guilt and anxiety. There is much I want to create, a sense of peace I long to fall into. Truthfully, I am foggy right now. I'm feeling so much the events of the world- the pain, the shifting. I am experiencing much shifting myself, which is grand and exciting, but I am unable to make sense of much of it, nor make my way through the fog, if I am unable to differentiate what is mine and what is not.
It is also ridiculously easy to compare and contrast yourself and where you are at personally, professionally, and emotionally, when you are forever plugged in. It's easy to lose sight that their path is theirs and yours is yours when your Ego would have you believe that you're behind compared to everyone else.
You see, when we traverse the world of social media, just like in the real world, we pick up and are affected by others' energy. If you're always engaging in others' posts and feeds, there is that much more stimulating energy in your auric field and within your energetic body. It's challenging to ground, create, be present, and even just relax, if you're always tuned into everyone else!
And so, starting this week, I am beginning a self-imposed month long break from social media. I'll be setting very strict limits for myself, just so that I am able to go online and share where I am at, hopefully cheer and inspire others in a spiritual sense, and continue to share my offerings. Spirit has a lot in store for me, expansion and growth-wise, and so I am taking some space to really honour that.
As always, thank you for sharing virtual space with me.
Wishing you many quiet moments of inner stillness.