Our Social Media Hiatus
On Easter Sunday, which also happened to be April Fool’s Day, Hubbz and I made a choice to (for the most part) give up social media… and no, this wasn’t April Fool’s Tomfoolery- this was a legit hiatus that was long overdue. Hubbz agreed because he’s a damn Champion and wanted to support me with this little experiment. I couldn’t go crazy and disconnect completely because a lot of my life is connected through social media. My job, my students, our church group and my essential oil peeps all use social media to stay connected so it is important and necessary to be plugged in, but Hubbz and I decided to scale way, way back and see what happened… we said we would give it a month. We turned off non-work related notifications, put apps on the last screen of our iPhones and made a pact to focus on the life that is right in front of us… WOAH YO, BRO.
Over time, the reasons for a social detox piled up and I did my best to sweep them under the rug pretending they weren’t a thing. Turns out, they were a thing. Here are some highlights (i.e. really embarrassing lowlights) for why a social media hiatus needed to be my new thing…
- I started to feel disconnected from the world. While I know that sounds super weird, it’s really not. I am reminded of the Steve Jobs’ quote “your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” I was spending so much time paying attention to other people’s lives that I was missing out on my own. (That’s super embarrassing when you say it out loud, BTDubs.) While my son is hilarious and adorable, I spent so much time capturing how hilarious and adorable he was that I was missing being in the moments of his hilarious and adorable. For me that is unacceptable. I would be spending time with Hubbz and immediately get on my phone to selfie or snapchat the moment when I could be in the moment talking to the sweetest, sexiest (that beard tho), funniest man I know. The brevity of life is not lost on me and I’ll be damned if I am going to miss out on another single moment with my guys.
- I started comparing my everyday life to everyone else’s highlight reel. If you don’t think this is the most depressing thing you can ever do in life, I urge you to try it (not really- it sucks). As I would scroll through fitness selfies, vacations, birthdays, anniversaries, and anything else people deem important enough to grace their Social Highlight Reel, I started to feel all Turdville, USA about my own life. Davvero!
Embarrassing things that may or may not have come out of my mouth include:
“Umm Hubbz, I need a fancy vacation somewhere tropical because I have always wanted to drink a pina colada and skinny dip in an infinity pool overlooking an ocean.”
“Sooo Hubbz, I know I am a medium now (and used to rock a hefty XL) but Amber Dodzweit Riposta has a thigh gap and gun show arms… should I start counting macros again so I look like that?”
“Uhh Hubbz, why isn’t our golf league at a fancier golf course? Should we be looking at golf leagues at better courses?”
This thinking annoyed my so bad that I wanted to punch myself in the throat just to shut me up… so did Hubbz, though he never said it I am pretty confident the poor guy was thinking it. All of this comparing led me to feel crappy about this God-given life that most days I wake up in awe of. I started to think that it wasn’t good enough or I wasn’t doing enough or being enough. Um, hello, but get outta here with all that junk! I don’t have time to live an ungrateful life and I could feel discontentment and ungratefulness creeping in on the edges. No thank you! Buh-bye!
- I started to get anxious from overthinking. Ok this is some #realtalk and no, you don’t get to judge me. Sometimes I would see things on social and it gave me legit anxiety and caused me to overthink life… sometimes for longer than I would like to admit. SAY WHAAAAT. Yes, for reals. I would see something, overthink it for a couple hours and put myself in a bad mood. WTF, Bruh!? Ain’t nobody got time for that! If that has never happened to you, congratulations, you’re a different breed of human than the rest of us- but I bet if we’re being super honest, it’s probably happened to you too. We get one shot at this wild and crazy life and I have zero desire for anxiety and overthinking to take over my thoughts or come close to stealing my joy. I get Mama Bear protective over my happiness.
These three reasons kept showing up in my life and so one day I decided enough was enough. We had just gotten back from a breathtaking little family vacation and by that weekend, my zen was starting to wear off along with my tan… neither of which I appreciated. I lathered up with some sunless bronzer and made a pact with Hubbz to take back our time, sanity and zen AF mood.
I am going to be totally honest and say I was a lot terrified of the FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) that might set in disconnecting from social but I threw caution to the wind and did it anyway. The first few days, I would pick up my phone out of habit to scroll through Instagram or post to Snapchat. Not seeing the apps in their usual spot, I remembered the hiatus and put my phone down. During this time the world missed a lot of post-Orange Theory selfies, artsy photos of my Starbucks VBHR’s, the cuteness that is my son, our narcoleptic pup and hilarity of situations I find myself in with Hubbz. What I realized is, the moments of my life that I didn’t share were even more kick-ass because the people who I really wanted to share them with were right there sharing them with me… and I was fully present to feel them. It sounds basic, I know, but it blew my mind. The times I was alone and wanted to share something, I snapped a pic and texted it to people who I knew would truly appreciate it. Something started to happen in a short amount of time- by disconnecting, I began to connect deeper with the people that are right here with me.
In the first week of the hiatus, I finished two books. Two books… in a week! For the second one, I was sitting on the couch next to Hubbz and slammed it shut, gleefully announcing I was done! He looked at my bewildered, “What the hell! You just started it!” My reply… “And I just finished it, Homie!” (because sometimes I call my husband Homie.) This made me realize three things, 1) I am finally going to get through the stack of books sitting on my bookshelf. 2) I am definitely going to get to buy all the new books on my reading list. 3) It’s amazing what we can find the time for when we stop silently gawking at the lives of others and start investing in our own. #realtalk 😎
Total number of books I read in April… Ready for it? 5… AS IN 1-2-3-4-FIVE! Boom-Shaka-Laka! 🙌🏽 but then also 🤘🏽 …Oh… and I listened to a podcast called Dirty John. It was very unnerving but also wildly cathartic. It also made me remember how much I enjoyed listening to podcasts.
Over the course of the month, Hubbz and I have played more board games than I can count (no you can’t judge us- it’s our jam). I started and finished yet another puzzle (because they are the best thing ever and if you don’t think so we can’t be friends).
We hit the range a few times (I impressed the hell outta my man) anddddd we kicked-off our summer golf league (I am so excited that I can’t even feel my face!!!) I have finished so many half-started blog posts (they will publish in May, so stay tuned!) And I finally, finally, did I mention FINALLY started writing my book!!!
We went on a zillion walks with our sweet son and played with bubbles in the crisp, spring Michigan air. Our little man celebrated his half-birthday (because in our house we celebrate half-birthdays) and I died a little… How is he almost TWO!?
I continued my weightloss journey (I am now a proud wearer of size: medium) and hit a new personal record for Fastest All-Out at Orange Theory (I channeled my inner Flo Jo and she would have been proud.) This month, we spent so much time with family and friends and it nourished the soul. Mostly, above everything, we laughed. We laughed so hard that sometimes we couldn’t catch our breath and it was awesome. This past month I realized that little pivots in how we spend our time offer the gift of more time.
I have become a firm believer that once in awhile, in the middle of a perfectly good life, sometimes we need to hit the reset button. Not because anything is wrong but because we want to make our lives better, richer and overflowing with love and happiness. Our little social hiatus wasn’t forever but it lasted just long enough to allow us to think about how we are spending our lives and at what capacity. We have talked about making it an annual thing. I don’t know what we will end up doing but I do know that disconnecting and re-centering was not only needed and necessary but led us to have a lot of fun and connect so much deeper with the people in our lives. I urge you, sweet friends, to try it. You just might like what you discover.