Social Media Detox: Day 6 and 7

Living without social media isn’t perfectly easy. I still feel the desire to check Instagram and other platforms whenever there is an extremely empty moment. While I don’t have a constant urge to pick up the phone, I’m beginning to feel a bit of a different sensation in regards to social media. I’m starting to feel slightly left out. 

On day seven away from social media, I’ve wanted to log back in several times, just to see what’s going on with people I care about. There’s this sense of missing out on the things they have been creating or messages I may have received. With so few people contacting me away from social media, I have begun to feel slightly left out of a larger conversation that seems to be taking place without me. While this thought is not constant, it slips forward every so often and I’m left to wonder. 

The fear of missing out, or FOMO as I have heard it called, wasn’t something I ever dealt with before now. But now it seems to be making its grand entrance. While I know for a fact that social media is exactly the same as how I left it, there is this nagging sensation that maybe I’m wrong. Maybe just maybe I’m missing out on this grand opportunity or announcement and my mind is fixating on that feeling, even though there is no proof to back it up. 

While I may be feeling left out in terms of social media, my life is not lacking of excitement or joy. Yesterday after work, my mom and I went on a date and ended up doing far more retail therapy than expected. Leaving on our date around 3:30, we ended up at home well after 7:00. From Hobby Lobby to Goodwill, we shopped till we nearly dropped and found quite a few wonderful items. 

While at Goodwill, I found several different props that really inspired me that I may have passed over if I had not been feeling more creative and inspired. Not to mention I found the cutest handmade shirt that has the most amazing sleeves ever and I cannot wait to wear it, but that is completely besides the point. Having found more time to read (I’m halfway through “Together” by Vivek H. Murthy, MD and cannot wait to start another book), I am more motivated to read than ever before and picked up two new books. 

The day ended with a facetime call with a friend (the third call of the week) and the night that followed was anything but restful. This is a problem that I have encountered almost every night this week and I have begun to wonder if it is a rather odd side effect of getting rid of social media. Because I am experiencing higher levels of creativity and focus, I’m curious if my mind is simply reeling from this new found energy and preventing me from sleeping. While this may not be the case, I could see it playing a part in my restless nights. Another interesting sleep note is that I have had more vivid dreams this week than I have in the longest time, which might also be a side effect of deleting social media or simply a coincidence. 

This year has seen an interesting delay in the setting of goals, which I have attributed to my lack of focus and inability to think of the future, however this week I have been able to make progress in the creation of my one, three, and five year goals. I’m starting to feel like I’m gaining a better understanding of where I want to be going. A lot has changed in the past months and I’ve found it hard to map out a plan for the future, yet now I think I know where to begin to set my steps. 

Hopefully this weekend will see the expounding of those tentatively set goals and the better guide for the coming months. I’ve always been a goal setter and to have not set my goals in place for this year seems absolutely confounding. But, giving myself grace is necessary and something we all desire after such a hard year. 

How important it is to give ourselves the same love we give to those we care about. We take time to listen to them and to provide for their needs, while always neglecting our own. The fact of the matter is simply that we cannot give what we cannot have. Every relationship is a combination of giving and receiving and the same is true for ourselves. When we spend time refueling our hearts, our energy, and our mental capacities, we will be able to go through life with longer fuses, more understanding, and a greater ability to love others. 

This is something I’ve begun to realize through removing social media. I’ve been able to spend more time focusing on my needs like removing stress and creating more often. This allows me to be happier overall and interact with the world in a more positive and lighthearted way. There is a lot of darkness in the world and if we don’t escape from it every so often, it will inevitably drain away our ability to live. 

Remove the things in life that are draining you in a negative manner in order to allow more room for the things that bring you energy. By allowing yourself to enjoy the peaceful moments doing things you love, you’ll begin to realize how beautiful life can truly look.

Until Next Time,
Lillian Merritt

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