So it occurred to me that I was spending a great deal of my time on social media. Posting, playing games, chatting. Mostly a lot of chatting. Which isn’t anything so terrible, except that I was talking to FB friends more than I was people actually physically in my life.
I made the decision to pull back and take a break from it.
Easy to say, but I think I had turned into one of those people who have become so accustomed and, dare I say it, addicted to social media. I am guilty of checking it every morning as soon as I’m awake, pretty much on it all day until I go to bed. So making this decision has been interesting to say the least.
So on my first day, I literally left my phone in my bag all day at work. Didn’t even look at it at lunch time. Of course it was on my mine all day. What was “so and so” doing? What had been posted on my wall? What was that celebrity doing that I wanted to know about? By lunch time my stomach was churning, I felt like I was going to be sick. I had a headache and my chest hurt. I’m sure my heart was beating twice as fast as it was supposed to. And I was like, what if the people I chat with a lot hate me now, turn on me, say terrible things about me? Use things I’ve told them against me? It was literally making me feel scared and anxious.
When I got home, I went on line, but only to play my games, which I find relaxing, I had a quick word with a few people who I normally spent a lot of time chatting to, explain that I was going to not be around as much, as I was going to be busy with real life stuff, which is true. They were all fine, like, great! No worries! We’ll talk soon! And I thought why was I acting so weird today?
Second day, again, I didn’t look at my phone all day, except to make sure my sons hadn’t tried messaging or calling me. No social networks. My stomach was still a bit fluttery, but nowhere near as bad, but it was on my mind a lot. I’m now working on not thinking about the social media at all. Not easy, but I’m trying. I am feeling a lot less anxious. I honestly think I’ve been suffering some sort of withdrawal!
I found that talking it through with a couple of work friends, who are also my FB friends made me feel a lot better. They reassured me that what I’d shared with people wasn’t anything that could or should be used against me. And really, I’m a quite open and honest, friendly person. I don’t ever really say anything bad to anyone. I actually enjoy talking to people! But what I’ve realised is I need to put more effort into talking to people face to face and not just online.
So now, I’ll have a quicklook at my wall, see what people are doing, thinking about, posting, I’m going to play my games, feed my families & animals, reap my crops etc. LOL, but chatting won’t be the main part of my interaction for a while. If I want to talk I’m going to sit and talk to my husband, which I should have been doing anyway. I will pop in and wish people a happy Christmas and New Year, or Birthday. I’ll reply with a quick hello if anyone pops up in a chat box, but I can’t let myself get so caught up again where they are the only people I talk to. It’s not healthy, for me or for them either if they are doing the same as I had been.
I will keep on with my two creative little online hobbies, writing and vidding. They give me personal satisfaction and I truly enjoy those things. I still love surfing through the news and the funny things that get posted. I love finding music online and watching YouTube videos that make me laugh out loud. But there is a physical world here that I need to get more involved with.
Social media is part of our lives. A big part, but it can’t be the only part. And yes, I’m going to miss certain aspects of it, but I know that I’ll be much healthier in my use of it. I won’t let it take over my time as it has recently. I’ll learn to clean my house again, do the washing, play with the dog, wash the dishes by hand rather than just use the dishwasher, and generally just get on with it, instead of leaving things because I was “busy” talking or playing online. I don’t want to become one of “those” people.
Someone also pointed out to me that I need some friends that like going out and doing things. Coffee mornings, shopping trips, visiting each other for no reason. I have friends, but they all work full time or don’t really live close enough to do those things with. So I have to make some effort in this direction myself. Actively connect with people and make plans. Even if it’s on the weekend. Even if it means cutting in on my time with hubby. I’m sure he’ll understand. I need girlfriends. Which probably sounds weird coming from a 54 year old woman, but they are right. I do need girlfriends. People to share a laugh with, a hug, someone to do things with. I’m on a mission.
It’s amazing what you learn about yourself sometimes.