My Experiment: Social Media Blackout

Remember when I vowed to stay off all social media platforms (including the blog) for a month?  Here’s how it went…

 

Day 1: All social media apps have been removed from my phone.  It actually makes me a little anxious to be making this commitment. I feel like I’m going to be MISSING SOMETHING. I have to remind myself to be rational. We were all just fine before social media. If someone needs me, they can always call, text or email me (novel concept, I know).

I pop dinner in the microwave and instinctively reach for my phone to pull up Facebook or Twitter. It reminds me why I’m doing this. Social media is a borderline addiction, and it’s sad that I can’t wait patiently for 60 seconds. I’ve gotten into the habit of occupying every second of my day.

 

Day 2: JD is working this evening. I look down at my phone, ready to select a social media app. Realizing there are none and I’ve committed to a month long blackout, I feel… almost… alone. I wonder if social apps genuinely make me feel less alone, and more connected to other people when JD is working nights.

 

Day 3: JD has a sudden clutter attack and wants to sell a bunch of stuff in the attic. He is a pack rat, so I want to take advantage of his sudden change of heart. Doing so means downloading the Facebook app so I can post to a local buy/sell group and keep up with anyone who expresses interest in buying.  I am slightly disgruntled that he is already making me break my commitment, but I legitimately log on just long enough to post the item for sale.

 

Day 6: I’m finding that I don’t miss social media much. There are occasions where I’m bored and tempted to go online and peruse some feeds. There are also times where I want to turn to it for a fix after a stressful day or to fulfill that guilty pleasure need. It’s like a gossip magazine in that way. You hate to love it, but you do. And there’s something both wrong and completely satisfying about reading it, but I haven’t cheated. I’ve come close- very close- to opening up Facebook to poke around “real quick,” but talked myself out of it.  For me, this isn’t just an experiment, it’s a test of willpower and I’m determined to prove I can do it.

 

Day 10: JD posts a picture of me and I get an email notification. I log onto Facebook to make sure it’s not a horrendous picture that I need to untag. I don’t count it as cheating, although I do accidentally start scrolling through my news feed and have to stop myself.

 

Day 11: I go to my local police wives group to post regarding a July event. (Still not cheating, I knew I would have to use Facebook for some events.)  I don’t scroll through my news feed, but can see the first few posts before I pull up the group page. Two posts, both braggy, both annoy me. For the first time, I’m really relieved to not be using Facebook, and realize this experiment may result in me changing how I use it going forward.

 

Day 18: I cheated today, and I’m okay with that. I’d had a long day. JD was on night shift and the baby was asleep. I was relaxing, sipping on a glass of wine, and I wanted something mindless, gossipy, a guilty pleasure satisfaction. I initially resisted, but eventually decided I was okay with the cheat. I checked Pinterest and Facebook. It was glorious, no guilt. Totally worth it. But what’s more important is that the main objective of my experiment is still working. I’m avoiding social media as a compulsion, as mindless way to pass the time. I even cut back on the blogs I was reading, realizing I read so many of them for the sake of reading them, not because I found them particularly interesting or relatable.

 

Day 26: When I look down at my phone and see the date, I realize I only have a few days left of my experiment.  I’m enjoying this time, so it’s almost sad in a way, but I’m really glad to see that I’m not so desperate to get back that I’m counting down the days.

 

Day 32: A friend has to remind me that it’s August.  My month is officially up and I hadn’t even noticed.  I’m in no hurry to get back, but am looking forward to writing some blog posts and sharing some pics of L.

 

Conclusion:  I truly enjoyed my social media-less month.  The beginning made me realize how addicted to social media I was, and my hiatus forced me to do exactly what I wanted- be more present in my day-t0-day life.  I wasn’t distracted during a conversation with a friend or while L savored a spaghetti noodle.  Going forward, I will continue to use social media to stay connected with friends and family, but I’m going to commit to only using it at certain times of the day, not obsessively.  And if things get out of hand again?  I have no problem taking another break.

Advertisements

What You Missed

I’m back, y’all!

Well, I survived my month of social media blackout.  Actually, I would say I more than survived.  I thrived.  A friend actually had to remind me that it’s August and the end of my hiatus.  I will be posting later this week about my social media-less month, but for now, I’ll just fill you in on what you missed while I was gone.

*I got a huge promotion at work.  Having just gotten a promotion last fall, it initially felt a little too good to be true, but I’ve been lucky in that some really good opportunities have opened up at the right times for me.  I’m really excited about my new role and think it will be a great path for me.

*My family visited during 4th of July weekend and it was great that they got to have some quality time with L.  My dreams of us sitting quietly and enjoying the fireworks as a family were dashed when L decided she wanted to chase after the fireworks instead (in turn, JD and I ended up chasing after her the whole time).

*We have continued to soak up summer and JD’s light duty schedule by doing things “normal families” do.  We’ve been able to go to brunch on the weekends, go to a nearby lake for an afternoon of swimming and playing in the sand, visit the playground, go on some low key hikes, and even squeeze in a few days where we did nothing  but sit on the couch and have movie marathons (ah, the gloriousness of being totally lazy).

*I started seeing a chiropractor because, as it turns out, carrying a person in your belly for 9 months can really jack up your back.  It’s amazing how much that goes on in your body is actually caused by misalignment in your spine.  Chiropractors are highly underrated.

*L’s new favorite thing is pooping in the bath.  I want it to be funny, but it’s actually quite irritating.  I spend a lot more time than I like to admit scooping turds out of the tub.  As if to make up for this, she’s gotten really good at giving hugs and even said “Wuv you” the other day.  Melt.  My.  Heart.

So, there you have it.  Our glamorous, riveting life.  Aren’t you sad you’ve been missing all of this? 🙂

Still Here

Hey, y’all (I’ll always be an Ohio girl, but with NC being my current home state, sometimes I feel the need to throw a y’all in there).

I’ve been neglecting the blog, and I’m kind of okay with that. Life has been a whirlwind. It seems JD’s injury and the schedule he maintains on light duty has opened us up to doing more, and we’ve managed to quickly fill all that “extra” time we now have. In the past month, there have been birthday parties, dinners, a baseball game, a goodbye to L’s babysitter, a transition to a new daycare, and a motorcycle trade-in (JD’s sport bike for a “safer” cruiser).

This past Sunday, we were so desperate for life to slow down that we physically marked the day off on our Joint Calendar so that neither of us could make any plans (and yes, we had to turn some people down). We had a quiet day at home as a family, just watching movies and recharging.

It. Was. Amazing.

I felt SO relaxed by the end of the day and felt like I had finally had a minute to ENJOY my weekend and time with JD and L. It was a reminder that sometimes you just have to say no to things. Sometimes, shutting out the rest of the world to enjoy a quiet moment with your family is necessary and worthwhile.

So, I’m still here. Hopefully I’ll get back to posting more frequently, but for now, I’m just enjoying family, friends, summer, and stealing a quiet moment here and there.

The Silver Lining to the Hubby’s Injury

I consider myself an optimist.  In every situation, I try to focus on the positives.  After all, we can’t always control what’s happening around us, but we can control how we react to it, right?

Still, the past 2 weeks have been rough.  I spent much of it stressed, bitter, and even angry.  The idea that JD’s injury would leave him out of commission for the foreseeable future was overwhelming at times, but now that we have a plan of attack for his new work schedule (while on light duty), L’s new daycare, and accommodations for both of them while I’m on a work trip this week, I feel we’ve established our “new” routine.

So now, it’s time to shift my focus to those positives.  While I would never WISH an injury that forced JD into light duty, the advantage will be a more normalized schedule, and we’ll spend the next few months (a good chunk of summer), with EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND to spend together as a family.  This is absolutely unheard of in our world, and it’s inspired me to really want to take advantage of it.

Friday was absolutely perfect weather, and I was desperate to get outside and do something once the workday was done.  I started brainstorming ideas and got a vision of the 3 of us sitting at a park enjoying the evening sun and a picnic.  Normally, JD might have scoffed at such a boring (i.e. safe) activity, but he is now limited in what he can do, and it’s forcing him to slow down whether he likes it or not.  We decided on a park we’d never visited before, and swung by the store for a sandwich, salad, and some fresh berries.

It’s funny how you can live in a certain area for so long, but you still get stuck in a rut of doing the same things and going to the same places.  We ventured out to a new park, which was absolutely beautiful, and it was a quick, easy drive down some back roads.  I had to wonder how we could have gone so long and never visited this place, and how the simple idea of a picnic never crossed our minds on a nice day.  But now that we’ve been given the gift of time, I’ve decided that this will be the summer we explore.  New places, new activities, and plenty of time to really get to know the city we already love.

 

Like I said, a beautiful evening.

IMG_2434

We found a quiet field and plopped down with our food.  L was enamored with the berries.

IMG_2424

 

She always gets a kick out of places where there’s plenty of room for her to walk around, uninterrupted.

IMG_2437

 

We walked down to the waterfront and discovered a snack bar.  Obviously, we had to get some ice cream.

 

IMG_2439

 

And we got to sit on the beautiful deck to enjoy it.

IMG_2438  Not a bad view.

IMG_2440

IMG_2441

 

Before we left, we let L burn off some extra energy at the playground.

IMG_2449

 

I think our picnic at the park was a success.  I love watching L explore new places, and even JD said he thought the picnic was fun.  Will there be more in our future?  Who knows, we have a summer of possibilities before us 🙂