The final week of this experience has proven to be the best. I had the opportunity to look back and see that with less time skimming the Yahoo News and Facebook (which often motivated a frenzie to google searches), I was able to save the mental space for things that are truly important to me, my family. I enjoyed a few late-night movies with my husband, more snuggle time with my girls, and I even picked up on a few chores that I had delegated to the kids. I started to see the human I used to see prior to allowing media to take over my life.
A few other things I noticed is that there was no comparison to hold up against my own life, thus I was able to envision and create the day I wanted to create with minimal influence. The need to put out into the world every clever thought or funny action quickly diminished.
I can definitely say that the entire week has been filled with some anxiety about what I've been missing, wondering how long I will be able to keep this up, and not being able to share my daily experiences. It wasn't until 12 that my need to scroll slowed and was fulfilled by doing other things like reading, writing, drawing, getting ahead on my school work.
I don't have much detail on this week because I was having trouble blogging due to the website.
Before pulling off from my daughters' school, I clicked on a youtube TedTalk and it discussed the speaker's success without ever creating a social media account. I thought, wow... that must be something quite interesting. On my 25 minute ride to work, I had decided that I would embark on an experience of my own and see exactly what being social-media free was all about from 7:15am on:
Immediately upon making the decision during that drive, I thought about the things I might NOT be able to do without my facebook account: share my blog, #earlymorningthoughts, clever randomness, photos of my upcoming vacation to Montego Bay, promote the christmas wishlist for a needy family, etc. Then I thought about how many more things I might be able to do without spending hours scrolling in my free, but not-so-free time: read more, work on my writings, school work, help the kids with their work, and spend more quality time with Frank (my husband) and thinking about and acting on my future plans.
I was pretty busy that day trying to figure out how to ship student test booklets back to the company, so I didn't think once about social media. By 1pm I was ready to head out of work because I had dabbled in everything I could think of and kept staring at my computer screen and checking my yahoo feed (which I later determined IS considered social media).
When I arrived home, I immediately went into helping my youngest daughter with practicing math on Khan academy and later went to lie down and scroll my YAHOO (SMH). I felt sort of anxious and thought about facebook a few times while in bed with the light off. I would scroll yahoo a few more times before eating french fries with ketchup and drinking a Corona Refresca before drifting off to sleep.
I woke early that morning, 4am to be exact and lie in bed, scrolling YAHOO off and on, until it was time to get up at 6:15am. I thought about facebook a few times and almost felt a sense of withdrawal from it (YIKES). I tucked that thought in the back of my head several times today.
By that afternoon I had stayed outside with the girls and my husband playing tag with a dodge ball, worked on my blog, and I did not retire to bed until I was actually about to fall asleep. Again, I had thoughts scrolling and tucked them away.
(I had to think about what I considered social media and steer clear of it: yahoo news with comments, facebook, twitter, instagram, snapchat, youtube gossip and news bloggers. I did want to keep listening to motivational speeches, sermons, and documentaries.)
It's Saturday and I'm up at 6am and ready to get my day started WITHOUT any scrolling!
By 9:30am I was out for my morning walk, cleaning my husband's car out while he and the girls were at practice, and returned home to relax with a cup of coffee. At about 2pm I even went to take a nap and was able to get right to sleep without the usual SCROLLING. Naturally, I found myself bored off-and-on and utilized the time to talk to my husband and chat and play with the girls. While I've ditched facebook in the past, I have never kept track of my behaviors.
I awoke at 6am without scrolling, worked with the girls on Khan Academy for a few hours, and went for a long walk with music. The remainder of the day was spent sitting in the living room with my husband, engulfed in deep conversation. Additionally, I had a few minutes available to work on this blog and dispute a few items on my credit report, lol. By 5:30pm, Facebook had only crossed my mind once or twice. I have noticed that my anxiety has decreased in the past few days.
I went through my day without any real thoughts of facebook and managed to get some school work completed.
I have found that I more so struggle with the want to SCROLL, even through emails on my phone. In the last few days I have intentionally reached out to friends to check on them or just to say hey. In my opinion, the lack of scrolling through others' pictures and statuses make me actually yearn to make some sort of connection with others and I believe that has driven me to make contacts and spend more time communicating with my kids and husband.
Day 7: I made it.... the whole day without even giving thought to social media until I sat down to write this. It's been one week and I must say that my life has been all-the-better. I'm still struggling with the urge to find things to scroll through, but overall I can say that my screen-time has drastically gone down and my quality time spent with family has drastically gone up. I even dare to say that I got bored!