Taking a Media Detox

I removed social media from my phone! Shocking no one, I experienced from positive results by making that change:

  1. I read more.
  2. I created a morning routine that makes me less of a grouch.
  3. I am developing a better evening routine so I actually get quality sleep.
  4. My anxiety has reduced dramatically.

Let’s get something straight right off the bat: it is a privilege to have social media and it is also a privilege to have the option to remove social media from one’s life. Some people use social media as their way to connect, keep up to date on information that may be crucial and utilize social media to promote their businesses.

Did I completely remove social media from my life? No. I still used some elements of social media so that I could continue to maintain contact with people. Here were the rules I established for myself:

  1. Remove all social media that could enable me to scroll for hours (Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest). Keep any social media that allows me to remain in contact with people (Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, FaceTime).
  2. If I was going to use a social media that promotes mindless scrolling, I must go to my desk and open the site on my laptop. I set a timer for 30 minutes and when those 30 minutes are up, I get off the websites.
  3. Traditional media apps are still fair game so I can keep up to date on current events.

That’s it. Those are the only rules. So I got rid of the apps and I was off!

At some point, we have all probably heard of some famous person talking about the benefits of a social media detox and all that good stuff. We know it has a tendency to bring some peace of mind, reduce phone addictive behaviors, increase the quality of face to face communication and more. But no one really talks about why they’re going on a social media detox other than the vague “I have a phone addiction and it needs to stop” response. I can’t speak for the rest of the world, but I can speak for me.

I am the social media user that can be best summed up as: a creep. I like, comment and respond to other people’s content, but I rarely post my own. Rather than use the platform as it was originally intended, I have taken a back seat and am a passive user that browses and judges other people’s content.

The problem with passive use is it allows me to utilize it to fill any empty space or time that I have. I have a lot of empty time on my hands right now that I have been filling with endless, meaningless scrolling. No engagement. No conversation. Nothing.

Since we’re here, let’s dissect that concept a little more. Why am I not sharing or engaging anymore? I used to all the time. My Facebook memories tab loves to remind me of all my cringy old posts and photos that I loved to over edit for no reason in particular.

To be frank, I don’t have anything I want to inform anyone about. I like having some anonymity in my life, so I can have space to experience life. But rather than experience life, I have been filling it with mindless scrolling and creeping!

And that poses some problems perhaps you can relate to:

  1. My self worth and value became dependent on the actions/inactions of others rather than my own choices.
  2. I was learning subconsciously that inaction is safer, therefore better. And that’s simply not true because not making an action or choice is still making a choice. A choice that’s weaker and doesn’t allow for growth, change or movement.

By limiting my social media to direct contact only, I’ve learned that I really don’t give two bananas about social media. I thought I did. I thought I wanted to know what people were up to and how their lives were going every moment they posted. That’s not what I care about. It means so much more to me to engage more frequently with people who want to tell me how they’re doing directly. It’s much better than stalking someone in the virtual bushes hoping they’ll see you (or not. Because you’re a creep in the virtual bush).

Until next time,

Dana

New Year, Now I’m a Blogger

Hello World!

My name is Emily. Dana (the lovely creator of My Bright Corner) and Lilly (the other new contributor to this page) have been my friends since middle school. Although we have been friends for a little over a decade, we are all very different people in many ways. But that is what I love about our friendship. Our differences is part of what has helped us to remain friends for as long as we have (our differences and the fact that these two know way to much about me and they have seen me through almost every major transitional period in my life).

As is the case with most things that get me out of my comfort zone even in the slightest, Dana is the one who brought me on board here. And as far as her having to convince me to do this, it didn’t take as much effort as other things have (like when she had to beat me in Guitar Hero to get me to go to a middle school dance… still not over it for the record). This is another chance to stay connected with two of my favorite people and a chance for the three of us to collaborate creatively. Who wouldn’t agree to that?

Anyway, I suppose I should talk about myself now so you can get to know me a little bit (first thing to know, if you were to look up the definition of shy in the dictionary, you would find a picture of me there so talking about myself is not my favorite).

I’m 22 years old and I am a Graduate Student at Winona State University where I am studying to get a Master’s degree in School Counseling (Yes we do learn how to ask “and how does that make you feel?”). I graduated from Winona State in December of 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Child Advocacy. Also, I am a Graduate Assistant at a child care center where I spend the majority of my days surrounded by fifteen four-year olds who are equal parts adorable and hilarious and only slightly frustrating at times.

Unlike most people my age, I did not (and do not) spend my time going out with friends all the time or drinking or doing basically anything spontaneous. I am the most introverted introvert to introvert. I would rather go to a coffee shop than a bar (although I am a coffee addict who is allergic to alcohol so that may play part in that…). I am a bookworm. I am a movie buff. I am a music geek. I draw pictures occasionally (although they are nowhere near as amazing as Lilly’s). I take pictures everywhere I go. If I could spend my days by water, I would do so without hesitation. I grew up the daughter of a pastor/marriage and family therapist and the sister of a very protective older brother. I have spent an afternoon crocheting while watching black and white movies. I am basically a grandma in the body of a 22 year old, and in all honesty,

I am very okay with it.

Let’s let this adventure begin! As Dana said in her post, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me anything!

-Emily