I’m Cutting My Social Media Use Down To 15 Minutes A Day

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Today I started my journey to finding my true self with Alison Rice’s Self Study course.

You can read all about the new course here.

I won’t be sharing too much of what I’ve learned in each lesson for two reasons:

First, if you’re thinking about doing the course, I would hate for you to go into it with a preconceived idea of what to expect or any biases and expectations from what I’ve found whilst studying. Everyone’s journey in this course is unique.

Secondly, I don’t want to holdback any of my realisations or answers to questions in the course out of fear of what people may think when I publish it to the blog. Defining who my true self is is very personal and I don’t want it open to everyone- well at least that’s how I’m feeling now.

What I can tell you though is the first lesson is about or true self, our layers and our ‘not’ self.

After making my way through it and ending on the reflective worksheet, I thought one of the major stresses- one I didn’t even realise I had- is social media.

My blog far outperforms all my social media combined, and yet I’ve found if I’m not constantly posting on my instagram or coming up with a witty headline for Facebook, all the work I put into my blog is a waste.

As of Saturday May 2nd at 10:30, I have outperformed my blog’s performance for the whole of 2019 by over 2,000 views and we’re not even half-way through the year yet.

At the same time, my number of instagram followers is a measly 749 and my Facebook likes on the blog page is less than 200.

I’ve labelled my blog as unsuccessful because I’m not social media ‘successful’.

I’ve had this terrible habit for a while, but it has become more prevalent since lockdown, of opening my phone and mindlessly scrolling between Facebook, then Instagram, followed by YouTube and repeat for two hours.

I like to refer to the image above as the social media wheel of death.

Over the last five weeks of unemployment, I’ve struggled with two competing notions:

On one hand I feel guilty for not learning a new skill, creating something, connecting or just being productive. On the other hand, I’ve never lived through a global pandemic and the collateral damage associated. I need to be kind to myself and if sometimes I feel like playing the sims for three hours, that should be ok.

One thing that does leave me feeling less than is after one of the many hours in the social media wheel of death.

I’m left feeling less popular, less wealthy, less successful with no ‘cool’ clothes to wear, the wrong postcode and an inability to make the perfect sourdough.

Whilst social media as helped me feel a sense of connection whilst apart, I’m finding the faults far outweigh the benefits.

So I’ve decided that whilst I grapple the relax vs. create mindset, social media won’t rest in either camps.

Each day, my social media timer will be set at 15 minutes, and once I’ve exceeded this limit, the apps will shut down until midnight.

I maxed out this 15 minutes today without even realising I’d spent that long with the apps open.

If I want to do nothing, I can explore the nothing-ness by reading, listening to music or watching Netflix.

Whilst I continue this journey of true self, I need to shift my attention inward and not externally to the lives of people I don’t even know.

No more envy, jealously and anxiety towards the accounts I scroll through on my phone. I am not them and they are not me and the lives they lead on social media are curated and by no means an accurate reflection of their reality.

I look forward to continuing to better understand who I am as a person and discovering the real me.

If you resonate with any of the above, I encourage you to give it a try and remove this pressure to lead a life with a filter.

-tgfs x

PS- each blog automatically publishes to social media, so I’m not being a hypocrite if you’ve come through facebook!

Headline image source: John Holcroft

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