Day two of my social media detox
Last year I went to a yoga and detox retreat in Lanzarote. Although the detox was related to food and not social media, they only enabled the WIFI connection in the morning and in the evening. So, in the end, I got two detoxes for the price of one.
My experience in a country with an exquisite Moroccan cuisine was just not going to be the same!
In my first blog on day one, I shared my four revelations resulting from an 80% detox. I know, some may call it cheating, but I prefer to be realistic and compassionate on myself.
An advantage of cutting down significantly on social media instead of entirely, is that in your mind you can set a definite time where you meet your urge to connect. Then self-awareness kicks in, and you can pull yourself back without beating yourself up. You are more likely to stick to your objectives than to declare defeat!
Day two was ok, it could have been better. Being self-critical is another under-utilized skill in the digital age, yet so essential to growing! It is all about balancing with compassion. I did connect for over 20 minutes, but I got lost in scrolling down the feeds with really no added value whatsoever.
It is like my brain went into automation, probably one of the most dangerous side effects when glued to screens of addiction!
Nonetheless, everything happens for a reason! I was upset with myself, so I decided to leave my phone in the bag (leaving my phone behind in the hotel was pushing it too far!) while out for the evening with my son.
Oh my, what did I discover and experience! Several things, of which one I will share with you and my lessons learned from this situation! Ready?
Instagram and snapchat disease
As we get out of the cab of whom the driver looked like he is recovering himself from an entirely different type of addiction, I am glad we made it in one piece.
My son screaming he wants a burger, right now and right here, we enter the first cafe restaurant we see. We get a table next to a family of six, two Dutch-Moroccan women, two boys and two babies. I speak French with my son so they had no idea I could understand everything they were saying.
If I was not going to look at my phone and the discussion topics with a five-year-old can only last for so long…I was indeed eavesdropping. Harmless though, I swear!
But it was not their conversation which was fascinating to observe, but their behavior and attitude.
Both women were dressed in black, tons of make-up and jewelry and glued to their phones taking snapchat pictures with bunny ears and duck faces only to post on Instagram. All the while their two boys are bored to death and their babies probably sleeping as I never saw any sign of movement.
I made a promise to myself that I am grateful for God’s gift in how he shaped me and I would never ever take pictures with bunny ears to satisfy me need of belonging in the digital age!
Open mind, however, needs to prevail. I remind myself we are in the space of non-judgment and non-assumptions. They could be charming women who are just having fun! Until one of the women did the most incredible rudest thing ever!
She turned towards her son and commanded him to take napkins from our table, not one or two, the whole box and without even asking.
They just took our box of napkins without even looking at us. I could also see the young boy hesitating and embarrassed by stealing our box of napkins!
Me being in a mindful space of letting go I do not react, I just take the box of napkins from the table next to me where no one was seating.
There was a part of me which wanted to start a scenario, but then in my head, the image of three Mediterranean women fighting over a box of napkins did not look too good. There was more to life! When they go low, we go high!
Then my son out of the blue, in the end, looks at her before we leave and starts saying in French:
You know, it is very impolite to steal our box of napkins without asking. Your parents probably did not educate you any manners!
Priceless indeed and I am sure she understood French by the look on her face.
So what were my takeaways from this mindful evening without screens?
First, my son is always talkative, but his facial expression when I had his full attention was pure joy. Feelings of regrets immediate surged of all the times when I failed to give him my undivided attention when glued to technology.
Second, life whispers all the time, and if we pay attention, we listen to the most valuable advice of all. As an outsider, observing a family glued to technology while their children were miserable was a powerful and valuable lesson. No more phones when spending quality time with my loved ones!
Third, when we are out of touch with our inner self, we react in unhealthy ways with regret as an inevitable outcome. Even though it was only a box of napkins, had I not been mindful I would have unleashed the Dutch pitbull and only God knows what would have happened then.
Fourth, I noticed the grace and emotional intelligence in my five-year-old. Amazing! He did not react at the moment when they stole our box of napkins but waited until the end when it was a better time. His levels of intuition and situational awareness are just magnificent!
Finally, the most important lesson of all — I went to bed with a fulfilled feeling and peaceful mind as I created a moment between my son and myself both of us will never forget. A moment which bonded us even more, a bond he will hopefully remember when he hits puberty!
Stay tuned for day three as both of us overcome our fear of horse riding on a Moroccan beach!
Stories from the heart
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