Curbing my Social Media Addiction with the 7 Day Tech Detox
Hi, my name is Alisha and I am a social media addict. I spend hours checking notifications, replying to posts, Snapchatting, Instagramming, Facebooking, Periscoping, and YouTubing…. For me it began as a coping mechanism. I had severe PPD with two of my four kids and whenever I would feel overwhelmed and ready to snap I would open my phone and distract myself. For a few years it was really a great system until the psychology of social media creeped in and I was stuck.
I have tried many times to cut my ties with social; however, it’s almost impossible for me. You see I am a blogger, a homeschool mom who uses social to find out when the next get together is, and I also run an online company that helps other people manage their social. Ironic right?
I knew that the amount of time that I spent on social was starting to become a problem. My husband would comment that I always had my phone in my hands, that I was constantly distracted, my friends would joke that I was “always on Facebook”, and what I am most ashamed of is that my children would bring my phone to me in my bed before even saying good morning because they knew that it was almost as important to me as coffee.
When Amanda asked me to be a part of the Technology Detox, I have to admit that I was scared. Could I really give up social? Of course I couldn’t. I work in social, I blog in social, I always have a foot in the social media world…. but what I could do was limit it. Put boundaries up. Take back my own life.
What I was most afraid of was missing out on connections. I was afraid of missing out. Missing that invite to the lake, that post about an event, that private message that was important.
The truth is that I didn’t have to be on social all day long in order to keep abreast of all of the things that I use social for. I could go on once a day, or even twice. I could still post one picture a day on Instagram because it is my favourite platform. I could schedule out posts using post planner for my blog. I could hire a Virtual Assistant to check notifications.
I set out boundaries. I removed apps. That wasn’t enough. I had to remind myself of what life was like before social. So I went camping where there was no wifi, no 3G, no LTE. This may seem like a drastic measure but it worked! By limiting my ability to access the internet made me realize just how much I needed someone to keep me accountable. I took a full week to detox off of my media, and you know what? I didn’t miss out. People didn’t even notice that I was gone.
With so much noise in social media now it’s like a 100 people are yelling and when one person stops it goes unnoticed. But, what doesn’t go unnoticed is real connections. During this detox I made a plan to make more real life connections. To join a Healthy Supper Club, to create a Big Kid Playgroup every week for other homeschoolers in my area, to start to plan a conference. Things that *use* social media but also exist in the real world.
It seems so ridiculous to me that I would even have to actively search out these real life connections, but in this day and time, I know that I am not the only one. If you feel like social is taking over your life, and that you are missing out on those real connections that are right in front of you, I encourage you to take the 7 Day Technology Detox. However, I also want you to make yourself accountable to someone else when you are done.
I have told my kids to nag at me when I am on my phone, to remind me that I am trying to kick my habit. I have put reminders on my command centre, and have told my good friends, and have encouraged them to join me. I have also asked my husband that if he sees any Facebook or Snapchats after midnight to call me on them. It’s so easy to slide back and I know that I can manage this if I get the support that I need.
Lastly, my family and I made up a list of what good media looks like. How many hours a week, and what we should be absorbing. The things that I do for my kids, like rules around when they can have screens, what they can be watching and the limits placed on them are now placed on me. As we all know that kids will not learn good social media habits if they do not see them being used by those who they look up to most.