I Love Social Media as Much as the Next Person
On one hand, It has given a "voice" to many around the world who previously did not have one. Facebook, Twitter, and blogging platforms have been credited as a contributing factor in the political revolutions in countries like Egypt and Tunisia, where citizens used it to get information out in spite of a government controlled media.
Social media is also an amazing news distribution outlet in the US. I first heard about the killing of Osama Bin Laden not through TV, but through Twitter. Likewise, I lived in Boston during the 2013 marathon bombing, where citizens could get faster updates about the manhunt through 140 character tweets than we could from television.
But social media can also be a distraction, a time suck, and the primary way that we sabotage ourselves in the pursuit of our goals.
How many times have you told yourself that you were going to spend 5 minutes on Facebook, only to still be there an hour later, debating the Presidential election with friends or watching the video of "Chewbacca Mom?"
How often have you thought about writing your book or going to the gym, only to spend the next 20 minutes filtering a new photo for Instagram?
And it's not just enough for us to post every detail of our life on social media. We often have to keep logging back on to see how many likes we received.
"This photo of me and my girlfriend only got 17 likes? Maybe I look fat!"
Sadly, this is a quote that I've actually said to myself before.
We are addicted to feedback and validation from strangers on the internet.
And it's all happening at the expense of our own quality of life. We are less present with our significant others, friends, and family. How many times to do you see families at dinner and half the table is burying their face in smartphones?
And if that weren't bad enough, the distractions are a convenient excuse for not experiencing our own thoughts and emotions.
When we feel sad or anxious, we don't take the time to sit in stillness and live with that feeling to understand where it's coming from. Instead, we numb out and push our emotions down. While there are many negative vehicles that we can use to escape, ranging from food, to alcohol, to workaholic tendencies, social media is the easiest. It doesn't require us to get up and go to the store to buy junk food. We don't have to go to the bar. We don't even have to get off of the couch. We can simply sit alone and seek superficial connections online from people we hardly know.
Social media is every bit of an addictive behavior as drugs or alcohol. And while it might not cause the lasting damage to your physical body, it is cutting you off from your own soul. It is a negative vehicle that holds you back from taking action on your dreams. It is a way to control what parts of your life people can see and how much of yourself that you can hide from the world. It is a way to feel love and approval from everyone in the world except from yourself
I recognize this addiction within myself. I recognize that as I look to grow my business and serve you in a bigger way, that I need to have more discipline in how I use my time.
So I'm making a change.
And I'd like to invite you to join me.
Today, I begin a 30-day digital detox. I am deleting all social media apps from my phone. Additionally, I will only use Facebook/Twitter/Insta from home once per day so that I may update new content on my business accounts (facebook.com/Csoulcoaching and @CSCDanMason). No selfies, no uploading pics of my dogs, no watching the latest James Cordon "Carpool Karaoke" video. No witty observations about the world on my personal page. It's all going away for the month of June.
This will free up at least 15 hours per week for me. Possibly way more. With that time, I'm going to get to work on developing some new coaching packages that I've been putting off. I want to start my Youtube channel. I want to be even more present with my girlfriend. I want to smile at strangers on the street and put more love out into the universe. I want to watch life unfolding all around me. I want to observe the beauty that I take for granted everyday. I want to be free.
What about you? Have you been telling yourself that you "don't have time" to do something new? Have you been avoiding the gym, your creative pursuits, or starting a new hobby? What could you do with this extra time? How could it impact your relationship with others? How would it affect the plans you've been putting off for yourself?
Comment below and set an intention. Let's hold each other accountable to make this a month of transformation!
Freedom from your cell phone = freedom to create the life you really want.