My social media fast experience went amazingly well. It made me realize a few things about my life. It has been months and I believe that the impact of this challenge on me may be bigger than I ever thought. I honestly didn’t know if I could do it. It started off hard for the first few days but became easier with each day that passed. I didn’t realize that social media had become a mindless addiction until I was forcing myself to live without it. I also didn’t realize how much of my day that I was losing to it without even making a conscious choice. I had no idea how much time I waste on silly things that do not really matter and are not bringing me any closer to my goals. I decided to go through every aspect of my life and take some time to decide if I wanted to continue to choose to include that in my life. It was a long tedious job. It took me some time to return to this site which was not my original plan but it had to be carefully considered as well. I have decided to continue with this site because it is part of the life I see for myself and I truly enjoy it. I love having a creative outlet. While I did use Instagram and twitter, my Facebook feed was my number one offender. I have returned to using social media. I now set limits for myself and make a conscious choice about what time I spend on it. I no longer allow myself to stare hypnotized at my screen for hours scrolling through my feed.
Until I took away the distractions I did not notice how unhappy I was becoming. I didn’t know how bored and boring I had become. I was honestly very shocked by this. I had always been the person who was doing something. I had many hobbies just a few years ago. Had the mindless noise of social media and television really drowned out all of my hobbies? What I had done was pick up a few unhealthy ways to appease myself including being envious of other people on Facebook and Instagram, playing video and computer games, and watching more television than I have my entire life. I had become addicted to technology. I never expected it but it happened. By facing my addiction to social media I opened the flood gates. I had been mindlessly hopping from distraction to distraction. I had successfully removed anything and everything that provoked deep thought from my personal life. But why? That was when I started to become aware of my unhappiness. I have all these dreams and I was not doing anything to get closer to achieving them. In fact, I had found ways to avoid even thinking about them in any realistic way. The distractions I had become addicted to were killing my dreams. The distractions make it so much easier to ignore them.
Ok, I’m going to get super honest here. I am afraid that if I try my hardest, really give it my all, that it will not be enough. I am simultaneously afraid that it will be enough and my entire life will change. You always hear of these people who achieved their dreams and their whole life changed. They always seem happier but still…Change is scary too. What if I get what I think I want and it is not what I thought it would be? What if I fail miserably and then I lose the beauty of the dream? Is this what stops most people from attempting to live their dreams?
If I want to change something in my life I have to take the action to do so. I figured out that if I put my mind to it I could take steps to get closer to that crazy dream life I desire. My dreams are a little different but they are mine. I am willing to put in the time and effort to achieve my dreams. I am also willing to finally face my fears.
I am one week into my social media fast. It has been an eye-opening experience. In short, I have been more present in my everyday life. I feel calmer. I do not have that feeling of nagging urgency for no reason. I underestimated the amount of time I was spending on social media, mainly Facebook.
I have spent more time talking to my girls. I have spent more time talking to my parents on the phone. I texted my mother a couple of pictures so she could show off her grandbabies. I took the time to look up articles and topics of my interest instead of spending time reading articles that popped up on my Facebook feed. I made a couple Valentine’s Day crafts with Isabella (7 years old) and spent a considerable amount of time playing on the floor with the baby.
I found myself reaching for my phone many, many times over the last week. I’m really glad that I deleted the apps off my phone or I may have mindlessly opened Facebook without even thinking it through. I never realized how much I do that until there was nothing there to open. It has become very apparent just how addicted to Facebook I had become. However, this has not been difficult. I had all these reasons why it would be so hard to live without social media and so far none of them has been an issue. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.
I’m interested to see how the rest of my 30 days go. I have begun thinking about starting a home project or reading a new book. I’ll update again in a week.
Am I addicted to Facebook? Do I spend too much time mindlessly scrolling through my Facebook feed? The simple answer is “Yes.” The project of dedicating a year to life takes me by surprise again. I never really thought about the impact that social media was having on my life and family as a whole. While considering what kind of lifestyle I wanted I began thinking about how much time I spend on my phone while at home. I have spent a lot of time thinking about what things in my life are making a positive impact and what is not. Social media in its current capacity is making a negative impact on my daily life with Facebook being my biggest offender.
I think that Facebook (and other social media to a lesser extent) has a place in my life but I think it needs to be a much smaller place. We have family and friends that live far away that it helps us stay up to date with. My work mates use it for group messages to get together and to plan days that we all bring stuff in for birthday parties or meals. Friends and family use it for party invites, especially kids birthdays. Those are the positives. Now here come the negatives. It is a time suck. I think to myself “I’ll just do a quick notification check.” That turns into “I’ll just do a quick scroll of my feed to see how everyone is doing.” The next thing I know I have spent a half hour or more doing nothing. Or on some cases it is worse than nothing. The perfectly edited Facebook feeds that hide reality is not good for any of us. The art of the modest Facebook brag, the mostly useless shares, the whining, the “too perfect” couples, the sad news stories, the fake news, the rants, the political opinions practically screaming back and forth, and the endless memes are all just becoming too much for me. It is so easy to get sucked into that world. I find that it is all a little overwhelming. I am curious to see how this choice impacts my family, my life, and my mental health. I am part of the last generation that actually remembers life before social media took over. I long for the days of phone calls from loved ones and being able to get together with friends without anybody staring at their phones. I miss the times that people were actually social.
I did not delete my accounts or even put a hold on them. I just removed all of it from my phone so that it doesn’t live at my fingertips anymore. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Facebook messenger apps have been deleted from my phone. I have decided to take a 30 day social media fast. I started yesterday. March 13th will be 30 days. I’ll let you know how it goes.
It is amazing to see the amount of stuff that accumulates in the kitchen. The kitchen really is the center of many homes. The kitchen was a huge undertaking during my personal journey toward simplifying my home. If you are on a similar journey or just want to take a few small steps towards less clutter, these 5 things are a good place to start.
- Tame the Tupperware Beast – We have all heard it a million times but it’s time to finally do something about it. The loads of mismatched lids and containers need your attention. This surprisingly did not take as long as I thought it would. Start by removing your favorite ones. The ones you use weekly that are in good shape with fitting lids can go immediately to the keep pile. Next start matching up lids and containers. Throw away anything without a match. Now trash anything that is discolored, cracked, or has an ill-fitting lid. The last step is the hardest, decide how many you actually need out of the containers left. This number varies based on the family. Consider how often you eat leftovers, what sizes work best for your family, and what logically fits in the space provided. Do you only use them once or twice a year? Could you use a freezer bag for those times instead? If you had to buy new ones tomorrow, would you purchase these items again? Wash the ones that you have decided to keep and organize into a larger container that fits in your cabinet. This keeps them from going everywhere inside your cabinets.
- Some of These Things are not like the Others – It is amazing how much stuff ends up in crazy places. This happens even more often when you have children. This can be time-consuming to handle but the extra work space in your kitchen is worth it. The weirdest thing we found was a decorative ink pen from Disney World inside a punch bowl. We relocated the ink pen to the desk and got rid of the punch bowl. We obviously hadn’t been using it, lol.
- Food, Food, and more Food – Take a day to pull everything from your pantry, cabinets, or anywhere else you keep non-refrigerated food. Check expiration dates and throw out everything expired to start. Go through everything else with honesty. Have anything in there that you will not eat? We got rid of a bag of candy our girls were never going to eat. They still had tons of Halloween candy hanging around in the pantry. To make getting rid of those things easier either give them to somebody who you know will eat them or donate them. Next go through your refrigerator and freezer doing the same thing. Now make a meal plan including all of your food. Depending on the amount of stuff that was harboring in your kitchen you may save a ton of money on groceries in the next couple weeks.
- Weird appliances – We all have them. I received the majority of mine as gifts but my husband is also responsible for bringing some of the odd items in. I made sure that my whole family was gathered around the table as we went through things. I set the small appliances on the table one by one asking if anybody truly used this product. The answers were shocking to all of us. There were some things that we all thought somebody else wanted and they didn’t use it at all.
- Bags – Do you have a huge pile of bags in your kitchen…maybe under your kitchen sink? Only keep the amount of grocery bags that you will actually use and recycle the rest. Do you use reusable grocery bags? Shouldn’t they be in your car instead of your kitchen?
When you are done, take the time to organize what is left. There are many options available to keep the things that you use orderly.