I don’t know if you are like me but I imagine you can relate to the idea that social media has WAY too much control over our lives. And if you are a business owner or influencer, we can constantly pull the excuse, “well I need to use it for my business.” Which is true to some degree. In the society that we’ve created, social media is a huge part of marketing, like it or not. BUT if you really looked at your usage, I’d bet you are using it a whole lot more often for personal use than work use.
Here in lies the problem…
We are constantly picking up our phone for that dopamine rush we get when we start scrolling or watching. It’s an action that has become so ingrained in us these days that we don’t even realize it or can’t even stop it within consciously trying. When something has that much control of us, it’s not okay.
An overuse of Social media is killing your productivity (distracting you), your relationships (not interacting or engaging with those around you) and your self-worth or happiness (comparison and dissatisfaction with what we have or who we are).
There is a way to utilize social media as a tool for sure, don’t get me wrong! This podcast is an awesome listen if you are looking for a more meaningful way to approach social media.
But first you have to accept that your usage may need to change – whether it’s the time you spend on it or what you are consuming.
During the month I quit social media 4 things happened for me…
01. I shifted my focus to God and my family.
I’ve been a Christian my whole life but I’ve been on a journey the past year to really connect with God and understand His grace and purpose for my life. Without having the constant distraction and comparison game of social media, I spent more time in His word. I spent more time listening to things that were for personal and spiritual growth. I spent more time doing more things that felt right for my family. Prioritizing these things and getting off my phone has been the absolute best thing for my relationship with God and my family.
Growing my relationship with God has been a year long process of battling my need for control and my desire to put my trust in myself and my own doings. It’s only been in the last few months that it’s really clicked that He is the answer to my struggles. I could not find a solution before because he was not in the equation yet. Now that he is, it’s a whole new, solve-able problem that I’m taking on day-by-day.
02. I had so much more grace for myself (and others).
The thing that originally led me on this path to truly connecting more with God over the past year, was my own sense of self and how I was feeling. As an enneagram 8, my biggest struggle is control. And I’m inherently an anxious and high-stress person. I’m also a person with high expectations for myself (and my family).
Patience, grace and trust are HARD for me.
I found that I was not being the mom I wanted to be. I was overly critical of not just myself, but also my daughter. I could not celebrate my wins, without worrying about the next thing or what I could have done better. I felt a constant worry and sadness that I was doing things all wrong. I knew that this was not right and that something needed to change.
It was then that my eyes were opened to how our society is in a state of toxic positivity and self-love. It’s all over social media. Everything is OK. Everything is acceptable. You are enough the way you are. You can do everything you set out to do. You are in control of your future. This all may sound well and good, but it’s telling you that you are in control of your life. You are perfect the way you are and if you want to change it, you have the power to do it.
But what I found as a grew closer to God was that, I’m not okay on my own and I’m not being successful at fixing it on my own either.
I’m not able to achieve the level of perfectness and the accomplishments that are in line with the message we see on social media.
I am a broken human being that’s not meant to do this on my own. I NEED God. I NEED someone to put my trust in, that’s not myself. I will fail me every. damn. day. as I have been for the past decade.
I could never live up to my standards of what I felt my life or my reactions should be. I was always disappointed in myself and I had zero grace because it felt like it has to be attainable, people I follow are being the moms and business owners I wish I could be, so somehow I must be failing. “What is wrong with me, that I constantly feel this way.”
You feel this way because you cannot fill God’s spot with these earthly solutions. Pride is a huge struggle of mine. I wholeheartedly believed that I could be successful, rich and in control of my life. I was the one in charge of my dreams, my goals and my happiness. When I let go of that pride and started giving my success and my weaknesses to God, I felt so much more fulfilled and protected.
It’s okay to be a constant work in progress. That is what God’s love and grace is all about. And if a perfect God has grace for me, who am I to not have grace for myself? How crazy of me to think that I can do all of this on my own.
03. It was so much easier to focus on work.
I’ve been feeling some serious struggle with motivation and and focus when it came to work over the last 6 months. I don’t know if it was just part of the journey, a phase or what, but I also know that social media was not helping at all. I could easier pick up my phone and start watching stories or reels and bam there goes 15 minutes. There goes my focus. We are not designed to multitask, my friend. I know you think you are the queen of multi-tasking, I’m right there with you typically, but our brains take so much longer than we expect to refocus on something. Not only that but you lose your mental state when you get off on a tangent about someone’s life who technically has zero impact on your own.
When I cut out social media, and more specifically the constant phone grab to check who knows what, I found so much more time in my day to actually be productive. I didn’t have the constant distraction and I found healthier ways to get breaks such as going on walks, working out, reading, eating my meals at the actual table. You name it, the world is endless when you don’t have a screen in your face 24/7.
So if you feel you are short on time during your workday… cut out your phone, put it somewhere away from you for blocks of times and focus instead on the tasks at hand. You will have greater focus, I promise!
04. I found I could be content and happy with my life.
I have honestly been so blessed in the last 10 years, even through the struggles, and I’ve spent the time just dwelling on how much better things could be and chasing after that goal through the wrong methods.
Trying to be better personally, more creative, more organized, more present, without turning to the one who gives us the perfect example of how to live. Jesus showed us how to love others, how to not turn to the things of this world for fulfillment and how to have grace for us and those around us.
That has been my mission lately – a focus on love, patience, and grace and knowing that it’s ok if I don’t feel like I can do it all on my own. Along with focusing on being more productive and intentional with my time, no matter if it’s spending time on my business or with family and friends. Being in that moment.
Let me tell you, it’s been a whole lot easier to focus on these things when I’m not bombarded by social media and the constant ways I should either
A) be okay with who I am (and that I am perfect the way I am or in control of it) – it’s normal to feel stressed doing all the things and taking on the world. Or…
B) that my life or my business is not as good as someone else’s.
Comparison is for sure the thief of joy and it’s impossible to not compare on social media if you are spending hours on it scrolling, no matter how aware of it you are. Let alone, social media itself is a HUGE timesuck. Don’t think you are on it that much? Check out your screen times on your phone settings along with phone pick up count. You’ll be amazed at that stats. Imagine if you put that time into something that actually matters?
If you are struggling with being content or productive or you are constantly feeling guilt or frustration with your life, maybe you need to take a step back from social media as well. Even if you aren’t trying to make some life changes or build a relationship with God, I can guarantee that your mental health and your focus and happiness will be better without the daily scroll.
Now, as a business owner, I am getting back on social media, but the way I use it will look a whole lot different. It’ll be a whole lot more intentional and planned.
I will be in charge of how I use it verses it having control over my thoughts. This means I’ll be batching my content, scheduling it and interacting for a limited and planned period each day.
Again, social media can be a great marketing tool. We just have to make sure that we are using it for that, and not for self-gratification, comparison and as a mind-number. Focus on the things that really matter in your life. Whether that’s God or simply your family and your friends. Get off your phone, friend. You will be so much happier, I promise.