It can be hard to face the idea of leaving our creature comforts (ahem, mobile phones and the internet) behind, but leaving them behind is one of the most liberating feelings ever…
SHOP OFF DUTY STYLE NOW
Spending a lot of time online is a prerequisite of working in the social media industry. Our jobs would be nothing without the internet and our phones. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job and the industry that I am in, but I can’t lie, the tech attachment that comes with the territory is something that has really gotten under my skin. The grip that social media and technology had on myself, and my friends/acquaintances in the industry, became increasingly obvious to me late last year. Scrolling through Instagram while trying to hold a conversation at an event is not normal, nor is it fun for anyone. In fact, it is terribly rude. And to think, this was happening all the time.
The pressure to constantly be online was upsetting me so much that I made a change. I went the other way…
Nobody wants an antisocial guest and I quickly realised that being glued to my phone (or seeing others glued to their phone) when we were supposed to be taking things in was making me a bitter and angry person. So I stopped. I stopped feeling pressured to be working my social media channels all. the. time. When I am out and enjoying the company of others, my phone is away. Aside from some insta-stories here and there early on, or perhaps a quick Instagram upload that needs to be done, I leave social media alone. Being present is way more rewarding to me than being glued to my phone to gain a few extra numbers on the gram.
And you know what? It feels bloody brilliant.
Being free of social media for an hour, a few hours, the day or even a few days is really liberating.
I know because I did it. I spent a whole 3 days, pre-Easter weekend, with my family in Geraldton and limited social media access. Admittedly, reception was also limited, so that helped to a certain extent. But even when I did have reception, hanging with the family was my preference. The result? I spent 3 days trekking my aunt and uncle’s block ‘prospecting’ with dad and Kevin, zooming over to the deserted beach on the 4-wheeler with family friends, kangaroo spotting from the deck with my uncles, and watching the sunrise and sunset over the bare land and ocean with nonna, dad, family friends, aunts and uncles, and cousins.
I was present and living in the moment.
It was exactly what I needed from the weekend. I felt light, stress free and happy… then I was straight back to up to speed with the online world on the car ride home. Social media is my job after all!
Learning to switch off and allowing myself that time to be free of the social world has been so beneficial to my mind set. You can never be told to ‘take a break from social media’ too many times. We know it can negatively affect our self confidence, and it also has negative implications in a social setting (especially if you are in the world of social media yourself). So I challenge you. I challenge you to be conscious of when you are using social media and actively make the decision to switch off for a bit. You won’t die if you don’t Instagram that coffee date you had with your friend, but you will probably have the most wonderful, uninterrupted conversation!