Why I’m Signing Off to Start 2018
For years now, I’ve been trying to find balance between mom-life and creative life. Often, I do well for a month or two and then life hits—sickness, new baby, travel, work deadlines, house projects, and my life-giving (but non-paying) projects get pushed aside.
Not long ago, in an attempt to regain some lost ground, I picked up The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You by Jessica N. Turner, blogger at The Mom Creative. In her book, Turner aims to help women find wasted or misused pockets of time and turn them into life-giving moments, activities that replenish instead of drain, thus making better women, wives, mothers, co-workers, and so on. It came as no surprise that one entire chapter (plus some) was dedicated to evaluating the role social media and technology plays in your life.
At one point or another, we’ve all fallen into the whole “I’ll just check my phone real quick” trap, only to emerge in a fog two hours later.
As I reflected on what I want my time and relationships and life as a whole to look like, I did some serious self-evaluation, especially in the realm of social media. I asked myself:
- Is Facebook and Instagram robbing me of creativity—or in the least, time spent on creative endeavors?
- Am I missing out on experiences and reflection and critical thinking, because I’m mindlessly scrolling and liking and then scrolling some more?
- Am I passing by valuable life moments, the moments that feed both my soul and my creative life, because I’m editing pictures of my kids instead of laughing with them or because I’m commenting on my best friend’s latest Instagram post instead of carving out time for a phone call?
My verdict? While the guise of connectedness draws me in, more often than not social media leaves me feeling disengaged from my people and my passions. It has taken up too much space in my life, and I need a change. I need a social media cleanse, a fast for the modern ages.
So for January 2018 (all 31 days of it), I’m signing off all social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.). I won’t check my feeds. I won’t post. I won’t respond to messages, likes, or friend requests. I’m all out. See you later, Facebook. Adios, Instagram. Don’t forget me, Pinterest!
I need to rid myself of the habit of reaching for my phone every 15 minutes. I need to reconnect with God, with my family, and my friends. I need to regain some time and creative energy, to reflect and breathe deeply, to sit down with a book and a glass of red wine without wondering whether anyone’s liked or shared my most recent post.
I’m not signing off without a measurable amount anxiety and doubt. What if people can’t get ahold of me? What if I lose blog followers or friends? Will people get mad because I’m not responding? Will I be forgotten entirely? (Because CLEARLY if it doesn’t happen online, it hasn’t happened at all.)
It’s ridiculous, I know. But this mentality is exactly why I need a break. I want to forget where I even put my phone because I’m playing with my kids or having meaningful conversation with a friend. I want to knock out some writing projects that have been mulling in my head and my heart.
Yes, I might be expecting too much in 31 days. But maybe it’s just the jumpstart I need for a new year. When January ends, I hope to be a bit closer to the rich, creative, and connected life I envision. Yes, I’ll be back to the ol’ medias come February—but hopefully less addicted and more balanced.
In the meantime, if you want to follow my progress and stay in touch, I’ll be here on the Life in Blue blog. You can also contact me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s to fresh starts, reconnecting with people and passions, and starting off 2018 with a renewed vision and focus. Happy New Year, friends!
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