Social Media Hiatus: What I learned

It is so nice to be back to blogging. I have to be honest, I have had writer’s block, I’ve been stressed, and this year I started off with a good cry. 2017 was a humbling experience, for in those moments I concluded being comfortable is not the way to live life. Living comfortably makes me live a repetitious life. That is, going through the same problems, experiencing the same things in life, and just being in the same spot. It is still. It is boring. It is not where I want to be. I guess you can call this a little fast.

In the beginning of the month I came across a video on youtube on how social media contributes to depression. Long story short, whenever we log in to social media and see that we have notifications waiting for us, it is a shot of endorphin (that happy hormone that we can attain through a good steady run). As humans we need to stay active, but we also need human contact as well. Now because we are in the age of technology, both of those needs have been stunted. While the benefit of convenience comes from social media (not having to get up and travel to see anyone), we lack in several other areas of our life which is now taking a toll on our overall health. Instead of physical and mental benefits of attaining a runner’s high from a nice jog with a friend (social benefits), we rely on a notification or like from people we have not seen in months or even years to reaffirm that we are indeed being thought of. And when we don’t receive a certain amount of likes or a response in an efficient amount of time, we question our self-worth.

For those reasons, and allocating my time in a more productive way, is what led me to leave social media for the month of January. January being the beginning of not only a new month but a new year, I noticed I start my new years off disappointed. I spend the last week and a half of December planning my year and setting my goals and when the new year comes, while starting can be hard, the hardest part is being consistent. A lot of the reason is because I find myself comparing where others are in their journey to where I am. While this can be motivating, it is mostly depressing forĀ  me personally. Social media accidentally puts me in this position a lot of times. There were a couple of things I was able to do in this month:

  1. Reclaiming My Time: not only do I have a daughter to care for, but I am a student and also pursuing an acting career. I also have financial, mental, and physical goals I wish to achieve. And while I have social goals, social media is not the only place I can enjoy a conversation. Killing two birds with one stone has always been important to me ever since I learned what it meant. Working smarter, and not harder allows me to complete tasks quicker and allows me more time to relax with my family and pursue my dreams (that’s all I really want to do).
  2. Focusing on my Studies: Without having a planner (I still need to get one, but the one I want is expensive), I have been able to allocate my time efficiently to my classes and complete my assignments early. I have also learned how to further engage with my classmates (who said online classes are boring?).
  3. Networking & discovering new things: I have gotten around to doing things I said I would and with that I have met some new contacts! I met a real-estate agent in the salon through talking about God. I was also finally able to finish reading this book (review coming soon) and by the end of the book, I found more resources for auditions—I’ve been looking for this information for a year.
  4. Learning from my environment: I was able to watch those around me in their phones and see how robotic and uniform we look as a whole. There is something unsettling about that. Not being able to hold a good conversation with those around you because of the lack of knowing how to. I can’t really blame this mostly on social media but social media does not help the situation either. While social media raises our awareness of what is going on in the world, why not have a conscious discussion face-to-face versus in an online forum?

While there were some benefits to not being on social media, there were also some challenges.

  1. I was a little lonely: While I have interactions with my family and coworkers, I still felt disconnected because a lot of people were in their phones. But one of my goals were to be in tuned with myself and to focus more on me.
  2. Missed out on news: I only have internet, so I had to log on for the news (weather mostly) or if I needed to contact someone. I did get side tracked and found myself scrolling, but I immediately realized that I wasn’t missing anything and was able to log off and get back to schedule.
  3. Motivation: I get a lot of my motivation from bloggers and instagramers (fitness and diet). It was hard to find motivation in myself to upkeep my fitness and diet goals, but it is what I needed. Learning to lean on myself, finding my strength in my weaknesses were the goals.

I overall believe this was quite beneficial. I can see myself doing this during the work week with social media during the weekends or nonconsecutive days on social media to remaining consistent with promoting my brand and staying connected, but remembering to look up at the world right in front of me is more beneficial. What are the pros and cons of social media for you? Tell me what you think in the comments. Here’s to reconnecting and catching up,

I’m back!

T.

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