I recently decided that to connect better to who I am and my heart, I needed to disconnect.
I needed to get off my phone and look around me. I didn’t go on a vacation where I wanted to get away from it all, I have simply been living my day to day.
Given the tumultuous year that 2020 has been I, unfortunately, have spent more time on my phone as many of you probably have as well. This has been done in the desire to feel connected, to feel like I’m not alone in this chaos that is ensuing around the world. It’s been done in a way to stay up to date, find comedic relief, and also find some glimmers of human kindness not portrayed on the news outlet. I have even built new relationships through social media that while incredibly grateful for, I realize might simply exist there.
The issue is and I’m sure I am not alone, I get a little too invested in what is going on in the world of social media and not even realizing that I am actually incredibly disconnected. While I enjoy watching individual Instagram stories I find that I constantly just open up Instagram to “see what’s up”.
Watching other’s stories or reading their posts does not always mean comradery or a connection. It’s simply a “real-time” view into what may be going on in their life. It’s almost like the neighbor watching everything going on in your backyard as they watch through a hole in the fence. (Figuratively).
I’ve begun to ask myself “WHY?” why am I watching so much or trying to consume so much of other people’s lives. Why do I feel the need to share in my stories or my posts?
While I admit, I have found some truly amazing people via social media if that is the ONLY platform I am connecting with them on is it a true connection?
This last question is one I’ve been pondering. Since being off of social media I’ve had fewer conversations with the people I was talking to almost every day while actively on it. There’s no text or phone call of how are you doing or following up on a previous conversation. The relationship has ceased to exist without the monologue of our visible stories to comment on as our days go forward.
Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy social media. I enjoy the outlet it gives us to connect as human beings on a certain level. It is an outlet where we spread words much faster than ever before, it is an outlet for learning and it is a place where you do have the ability to find like-minded people you never would have dreamed of.
Quality time is a love language of mine so in my choice to stop always checking my phone and social media I am gifting myself time. I have become more present in my connections and feel as though I am giving my full attention to those who are also gifting me THEIR time. At the end of the day, TIME is gifted and taken away all at once. If COVID has taught me anything it is this.
I wanted to share this experience, specifically right now because if you are feeling overwhelmed or are playing what I call the comparison game, it may be time for you to disconnect too. Take the 20 or fewer seconds it takes to delete applications on your phone so you are less likely to use them.
If you struggle with this because your business is on social media, allow yourself to take a vacation like you would from your actual work. Use the time to connect back to your creativity and come up with new content.
Who knows, you may even find that disconnecting might become a permanent practice.