Recently I have been trying to take more time out for myself. I have identified stress factors, planned rest days in between social activities and re-started a hobby that gives me so much energy. However I am still tired. Of course a lot of that is to do with winter , low sunlight (here in DK there is not much at all) as well as the busy pre christmas break schedule we all have. But there is something else. Something else that really drains me and until today I couldn’t work out what it was.
At the moment I am studying (amongst other things) digital culture. Today we were talking about the positive and negative effects of social media. We learnt that here in Denmark 7% of 15 year old girls don’t spend time physically socialising with their friends after school, they do it over social media. In fact 80% people actually interact with social media before getting out of bed or brushing their teeth. To me the message is clear.
We are all being sucked in by the vampire of social media -fact.
And the worst part is we are all addicted to it. As I look around the train I am currently travelling on 15 of the 19 passengers in my carriage are on social media. (They are also giving me very strange looks as I have been standing up and counting them all!)
Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t dislike social media. I live in another country to my family, I have friends world wide. Social media helps me to keep in touch with the people I love over a distance. I even run my business and my study groups over social media. It opens a world of possibilities and keeps us all connected. However the addiction of staring into a screen, scrolling through pictures, comments and videos at every possible oppertunity , is physically and mentally draining. These days we receive the same amount of information in a year as a person 200 years ago received in their entire lives!! That’s insane and is sending us all into a mental overdrive. At the same time constant use of a computer, tablet or smart phone is physically draining on our eyes. If you think about it it’s a bit of a mystery as to why we are addicted to something that drains us both physically and mentally.
So what to do? Well it’s simple. We need to give ourselves a break and start to use our social media accounts in a healthy way. Here is the 3 step plan to escaping the social media vampire and giving yourself some much needed rest and energy. I challenge you to try it with me this weekend and in the coming week to see how much of a difference it makes in your life.
Step 1 – Take a weekend break
Take a weekend off. Let your friends, colleagues and family know that if they want to contact you over a weekend then it’s sms and phone call only. Put the phone on charge and do something else. Give yourself a break and connect with people in person instead of over media.
Step 2 – Plan when to use your social media
For the first day just note down how many times you check your social media accounts in a day. Then have a look at your day and see when you can choose two periods of time that you can use on your social media account. (Three if you have a work or business through social media.)
Step 3 – No, no and NO!
When you feel the itch to check into your social media outside of your planned times don’t. Tell yourself no and do something else. Get some support, tell people what you are up to and why. There are some great free programs on the tinterwebs that allow you to block certain web pages for a period of time and this really, really helps.
So I invite you to join me this week in the Social media free challenge. As soon as this article is up I will be telling all friends and family not to contact me on fb until sunday. And then I will be enjoying a weekend of hygge with Mr T with films and Yule markets.
Let me know how your challenge goes – I’ll check in with you on Sunday night
Have an awesome social media free weekend 🙂