That feeling of being a terrible mother. It’s a pretty good motivator, especially when you can see the harm, your daughter sitting in front of you, tears rolling down her beautiful face. She’d just shared a nightmare with me. A bad man chasing her, scared, screaming at me for help. The tears, she shared, were because I wouldn’t help her in the dream- I was too busy with my phone. Sure, it was only a dream, but the message of the dream hit me with the force of a truck. Right there, watching her pain, I wanted to change things. So I did. The fact that I was more available to my friends and strangers over social media than my own children hadn’t occurred to me but as soon as I did I took action.
I’m not one of those who freely says things change my life. Ok, I might have said that last week about Not Quite Nigella’s 15 minute holy guacamole pasta- but come on- it was deserved. One thing I can, with my hand on my heart, say has changed my life is my Sunday switch off. It’s a pretty simple idea- I switch off social media for the day, from bedtime Saturday until I wake on Monday.
And then Monday morning hits. You’d be forgiven for thinking I race to the social media, but I don’t. In switching off, I’ve discovered something about my relationship with social media. It feels like just another commitment, something else asking a lot of me, giving little in return. So with a heavy heart I respond to the many pulls on my time. I’ve discovered that my FOMO (fear of missing out) has lessened. I no longer go back to see what I missed of a Sunday, in fact this has impacted my everyday use. I am no longer hung up on my timelines. There’ll be a notification if its important. I’m also approaching social media with my blinkers off. I can see through the carefully curated images that people present, understanding that I only see of people what they want me to see. It’s freeing.
There’s lots of ways to approach these things. Some people do a full digital detox but I still read online books and mags and watch vidoes. Others take an hour a day, in the morning so they can start the day right, or one hour before bedtime to help them sleep. Me personally? I choose Sunday to deepen my connection with family and be more present. It’s about, really, self-awareness (isn’t everything) . Why do you want to do it? What’s best for your circumstances.
Tell me, dear reader. DO you do anything like this? What benefits are you experiencing? How does it work for you?
Yours in stillness,