It’s the strangest thing to not pick up my phone and continually check in on my notifications and what my friends, colleagues and connections are doing…but it’s really amazing at the same time. Here’s what I’ve learned in one week of not opening up social media, AT ALL, for any reason.
(And if you know me, I go hard on experiments. When I say I haven’t looked at anything… I mean I have NOT looked at ANYthing on Facebook or Instagram. Perfectionist me would have to fess up and start over right then and there. I am sooo proud of myself right now, haha!)
I’ll write this list style below to make it quicker and easier to read and soak in. Here we go!
TOP GOOD FEELING: The calming fact that time does not feel like it’s slipping away. Time seems to feel on track and move correctly…maybe even a little more slowly. I really like feeling like time is going the way it should, it’s reassuring and just in general feels like I’m more grounded. I know social media IS real life, but it’s SO MUCH real life at once. One quick scroll and you know what 10, 15, 20 people are doing in their days which sometimes isn’t so bad…but add that up to a few times a day (or in most people’s cases SEVERAL times an hour) and that’s taking in a heck of a lot of info about others people’s lives and days.
TOP BAD FEELING: Slight FOMO. It snowed SOOO BEAUTIFULLY and I can’t share?! I can’t share my snow video and pictures? Will people know it snowed here on the harbor? LOL! These quick moments of fear of missing out on sharing AND knowing what my newsfeed is sharing gets me…but for a second. I correct it by remembering that I can share later AND go to my favorite people’s pages to see what they shared later when it’s my time to log back on. Whoa. Crisis that really IS NOT A CRISIS averted. Maturing from FOMO is going to be hard, but I can already see crystal clear instances where I’m starting to feel more confident about not being in the loop and remembering that I can still keep up with the people I love following most WITHOUT keeping up with them daily.
Ellie’s like “yeah cool let’s get back inside NOW” lolol! We didn’t last more than a few minutes…
My sweet littlest mermaid. I love her so much and literally never stop squeezing her.
PRODUCTIVITY: Yeah…my emails have been amazingly taken care of in GREAT time. I sit here now writing this with an empty inbox & my assistant has all of hers assigned to her. I even edited a session within 24 hours and delivered it. And then put together a newsletter to promote my friend Elizabeth in 30 minutes and scheduled it to go out. I am EFFICIENT right now especially when on the computer because I’m not allowed to open that Facebook tab when something takes too long to load. (YOU TOO!? Yeah we like ALL do that!) Instead… I wait. I practice patience. Practicing patience leads to mindfulness, something I’ve enjoyed learning more about since I picked up the book Thrive by Arianna Huffington years ago. And that act alone as increased my productivity and kept me focused on the task at hand. Not giving myself the option to go down the rabbit hole keeps me really working exceptionally well on the job that I came here to do. (Except when I was in the middle of emails and decided to get up and vacuum the room really quickly, lol. But last week? I would have checked social media in between answering emails and vacuuming is more productive than that, lol!)
Also…I finished The Gifts of Imperfection and am ALMOST done with Rising Strong! Then I’m on to Nothing To Prove and Braving the Wilderness. SO EXCITED! I bet I’ll be able to throw another book on my list to finish with how much time I’m getting to read!
PATIENCE: This is probably my favorite result of all. Because I’m not subconsciously harboring stress from overstimulation and being on Instagram or Facebook too long…I’m not as impatient as I normally am with the girls. My phone is not in my hand now. At all. So when they cry? I don’t have to put the phone down first and then help them. When they fight? I don’t have to put the phone down first to break it up. The simple act of not having to take the step of putting the phone down is huge. It seems small but that’s freeing. My hands are free. I love that.
CONTENTMENT EXPLOSION: If you know me, you know the simple truth that I’m content. I don’t want or need or long for more. I told my friend Liz on Voxer the other day I have everything I’ve always wanted and she told me how much that stood out to her, hearing that from me. And contentment is a LOT about your attitude versus material things. I know people who aren’t content because they don’t have that farmhouse sink in their kitchen they want yet or a bigger, better SUV. I’m over here like…”we have a home to live in and I don’t have to ride the bus anymore like I did in Norfolk, YAY!” I display this on a regular basis, and I won’t stop because it inspires others to be happy where they are…and if they’re not, inspires them to strive for the things they want in life. But lately…my contentment is off the chain. The best example is that we love snow and we ALWAYS get excited to see it and show it to the girls…but this morning waking up to it was different. I had tears in my eyes, we “presented” it to them as they each woke up in such a fun way and we took them from window to window showing them how beautiful it was and we just all sat watched it coming down in the windowsill. Normally I’d be Instastorying that entire experience but now it gets to live in my heart as my treasure for always. The little things guys, the little things. Magic.
These two…so much quality time while being snowed in this week!
IDEAS ARE FORMING: I already think I know how I’m going to roll with social media after this experiment in a way that works for me. I have a strong vision for how the plan is going to work and within a few days I’m sure I’ll have it refined, planned well and ready to go for my return. I think I’ve found the golden ticket to showing up on social media well for business but not getting my time sucked away by it daily. I will still be able to keep up with my favorite people & engage with the incredible people who support us, too! 🙂 When I return, I’ll experiment with it for one week and then come back ready to share it. When people say “social media is so ____” – they have to remember that it’s a tool and it doesn’t act on it’s own, people are the ones who plug the content in there. It’s how it’s used that makes you feel like it’s so ____ and that’s where you have to really create an awareness for how you’re choosing to use it, who you’re following, what you’re soaking in and the frequency with which you log on. I know that I love social media for SO many reasons (I’ve found some of my very favorite and inspiring people that way, and we have helped SO many people which makes me ridiculously happy!), it’s such a positive and power tool for connectivity. After this break, I’ll be able to use it in a way that works BEST for me as a business owner, “inspirer” and friend who wants to stay connected to her industry friends & clients!
I’m so thankful for the support in yet another FUN experiment! Y’all know I like to collect the research and see for myself.
Want to keep up with an Outer Banks mama of three sweet (and oh so wild!) little girls shooting weddings & small business photography while making time for the things that matter most? Click on the links below and let’s connect!