In the last few weeks, I have made an effort to monitor my social media habits and my ability to accomplish what I want to each day. Like many people, I am sure, I find that my smartphone- rather than being a tool- has become a mindless source of entertainment for me. If it was a relationship status with social media- mine would be “It’s Complicated”
Under the guise of productivity and constant connection, I found that I had a set pattern of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, various forums, news outlets and then back again to the
beginning. Standing in line at the store? Scroll thru some feeds. Stuck on an art project? Turn to Instagram to see other artists and how my work measured up to theirs. Time to write on my blog? I’d rather buzz thru Twitter to see the hot topics of the day.
Meanwhile, I bemoaned not having enough time. My focus was out the window- I had specific goals in mind the last few months for my family time, writing, and painting- and I was always too busy. Yet there was always time for social media.
I’m able to admit my will power wasn’t strong enough to keep off it; I also acknowledge that the purpose of the smartphone and all apps, it to make it easy (and possibly addicting) to connect and share 24/7. I won’t blame the technology, but I can see how it was easy to slide into using it all the time.
Instead of pulling the plug, I decided to do a “Conscious Uncoupling”, in the spirit of a former Hollywood Power Couple. I acknowledge I want social media in my life- but I want better control of it. A blog post from the Minimalists reminded me of how taking a break every now and then can help you refocus on what you want to get out of social media. It’s available Here , “How the Minimalists are Using Social Media in 2018” for anyone looking for motivation or encouragement on taking a break from the newsfeeds.
My first step was to remove my social media apps from my smartphone- all but Facebook Messenger (which my family uses rather than texting). I did it one at a time, first Twitter, then Instagram, then Facebook. I do need these programs to conduct business and stay connected- I am growing my art business, and how else will my blog get shared? But I have found that there hasn’t been a message yet that needed my immediate attention- so they can wait until designated times of the day that I log into my tablet for updates.
Today is Day 1. In the past I was able to go 40 days without any social media. Now my goal is just to schedule it, like I would other household chores or projects– and get my focus back on productivity in the studio. I would love to hear in the comments how others are backing away from smartphones, or how restricting your time on social media has improved the quality of your day to day life.