Day one of disconnecting from technology and connecting with life.

Glued to your phone, iPad or laptop swiping away to check your feed for non-life threatening news. Waiting to see who liked and commented on your post as addiction kicks in for wanting to be seen and heard. Or just killing time because of procrastination, fear or boredom. Whatever the reason, you are prone to social media addiction.

I love using social media for inspiration and motivation as sharing my insights, and personal experiences are helping others.

The problem though is that I may have been overdoing it lately and I admit spending far too much time on my phone checking and posting. I tried many times to cut back without success.

So what a better time to disconnect when on holidays right? Statistics portray a gray picture when glued to technology during our time off.

Out of the 2,000 study participants, nearly half of them admitted on missing out on “vital holiday experiences because of time spent on social media” and 44% of them felt that “social media ruined their holiday experience ( link ).

I used to be part of the 44% and I was not letting history repeats itself!

I am not a “how to” storyteller but rather a “share and inspire” person. I believe we all have our own GPS in life with different datasets. Those datasets which are similar will find their way and connect. This blog is part of a series where I share my journey of social media detox and what I learned along the way!

Recognising the addiction

I spend an average of 3 hours a day, minimum, although most of it is posting and sharing valuable content. Nonetheless, of those 3 hours, probably 60% is swiping and checking my newsfeed for comments and likes. Pure Addiction.

According to a study of Australian consumers by San Francisco-based media-buying firm RadiumOne, social media usage is a dopamine gold mine. “Every time we post, share, ‘like,’ comment or send an invitation online, we are creating an expectation,” according to the study. “ We feel a sense of belonging and advance our concept of self through sharing.”

The dopamine release explains why we become so addicted and always want more. Balancing social media use with real-life activity by setting boundaries will go a long way in preventing addiction. Awareness will help you snap out of it and cultivate a healthy relationship with technology.

Awareness

Before leaving on holidays, I told everyone I would stop using social media entirely for one whole week. It helped me put myself in a die-hard mindset as I asked some of my close friends to shame me if they see me posting! I did break the rules and spend about 20 minutes on social media on the first day. Still, I could not have been more proud.

 Why? I cut back on social media use by over 80%! That’s a big deal for me. What was key is awareness when catching myself and bringing myself back into the real world. Kindness and compassionate with yourself actually sets you on the right path to achieving your goals.

Surroundings become alive

This is the most important lesson of all I felt immediately. When we are not glued to our screens, our surroundings become alive. We see things we never noticed before. Feelings of pure joy and gratitude triumph over not being enough and always wanting more.

I watched as children are living their truest expression without giving a crap about what other people think.

I watched how the swimming pool was filled with veils, scarfs, bikinis and shorts and no one is judging. All together enjoying moments with their loved ones. No nationalist or racist feelings getting in the way of just enjoying time with each other.

I watched how my son was beyond excited as we used his water pistol to its full potential. Moments never felt and sights never seen when glued to screens of addiction.

Permission to be lazy

In our fast-paced lives and environment, we never stop. We are always running to achieve, to deliver, to perform, to show off, to please and so on. All in light of belonging and feeling worthy of approval from society. This has become the digital age and it will only get worse. Reverse engineering is unlikely as technology continues to dictate our lifestyle.

How do we truly disconnect from time to time? How do we pause our mind and relieve the pressure of constant action? By giving yourself permission to be lazy. 

It is so unheard of and frowned upon if in today’s world to do absolutely nothing. Because doing nothing is intrinsically linked with your status and self-worth in your mind.

Did you know that your most creative thoughts and ground breaking ideas surge when your brain is on pause?

Yes! Creative laziness can and does play an important role in the lives of successful, and more importantly, happy, productive people.

I gave myself permission to be in an overflow of laziness today and it felt damn good! No pressure to write, post, check or do anything against my will. Feelings of pure joy and inner peace were in overflow on day one as I became aware of the perils of social media addiction.

Day one was just the beginning of reconnecting in the real world by snapping out of the virtual one. So much time and energy are lost when we are unable to disconnect.

Stay tuned for day two as I share my life lessons from a much needed social media detox!

Stories from the heart

Thank you for taking the time and reading my stories, stories written to inspire you. Your time means the world to me! Follow me for more inspiring and motivational blogs & videos on my personal website www.inspireshareact.com.

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