I’ve gone through phases with social media. When Facebook first came around, I would sit and scroll for hours. At that time, there were no ads and I was just friends with real-life friends. I was constantly aware of everyone’s movements. Then I found my other half and Facebook wasn’t so important. I didn’t want others knowing all our details, so I posted a little less and scrolled a little less.
Then I had a baby and a house and was bored and had them all : Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, you name it. I would scroll all day and see what I wasn’t able to do and what I should be doing and it put me into such a dark place. I am a deeply emotional person and I would take every post personally. If I saw that friends got together and I had not been invited, it would bum me out for the rest of the day. If I saw an elaborate birthday party I would feel guilt and shame for the small, family party we had just thrown for our baby.
I completely deleted all social media accounts. I can’t even tell you how long I was off the grid. It wasn’t about a certain amount of time. It was completely about the toxicity I had allowed to control my life. I started reading books again. I have always loved to read, but I would put books on the back burner to my scrolling habit. So I started picking up books that would lift my soul and not continue the comparison game I had been stuck in.
Then I had this idea. I love to write and cook. I love helping people. I had a good friend who was wanting to do her first Whole30. After she told me, I put together websites and cookbooks and made her a cheat sheet of tips. And I loved every second of putting that information together. I knew I could do this for other people too.
All those social media sites, signed back up! But I didn’t put parameters on my usage. I didn’t place any rules on my “business” versus home life. I just did the January Whole30 and am feeling so great about cutting certain foods out of my diet. What would happen if I cut out social media to see the side effects to my usage? I took a two week break and realized I was looking at my day as if through the lens of a follower. “I haven’t done anything fun today, better run to the coffee shop and set up a cute picture to post.” Uhm some days I want to stay home in my pajamas and not wash my hair, thank you very much.
I also found so many positive side effects of social media: keeping up with other people around the world doing the Whole30, meeting really inspirational people like Todd McCullough with TMACfitness, and finding a tribe of women to connect with.
For now, social media is worth it but only with some personal boundaries going forward. We do not have to consume everything that is put in front of us. We choose what we consume- just like food! When I binge scroll on social media for an hour, that is my choice! And it leaves me feeling just as bloated as when I binge eat a pint of ice cream plus a bag of cheddar potato chips.
I may outline my boundaries in depth sometime soon, but for now, I’ll leave you with this. With the media as it is, we have to question everything and not just mindlessly consume. I mentioned this in my last post, but my new filter looks like a series of questions. Is this lovely? Is this uplifting? Does this bring me joy?
With all that said, I’m heading for a weekend filled with family and a few planned social media dates. Find out however much social media is best for you! Hope you all have a lovely weekend!