Why the Hell Can’t I Get Off Of Social Media?

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Listen Linda! Linda! Listen! I was/have been going through it with social media this year and it’s NOT something I want to admit. However, I’ve already told ya’ll that I’m undone and this is part of my unpretty truth. I’m happy to say I am much better now, but the fact remains the same that it can happen to anyone and I’m just going to be real enough to admit it. It came to the point where I had to ask myself, “Why the hell can’t I get off of Social Media?”. These are some of my findings and they aren’t cute, but here we are.

You can’t mind your own business.

Social Media is about being social. Yes, liking, viewing, and sharing is a form of actively being in a social space. Let’s be honest, you do this because it takes you away from minding your own business. You now have a reason to leave all your problems or tasks behind and you can just focus on absolutely nothing that concerns you. It’s easy. It’s accessible. It’s free. Truth is, not minding your own business costs you something more valuable than money, time; Time that you can’t get back because you couldn’t mind your own business.

You don’t have your own business to mind.

You can’t mind your own business if you don’t have any. Let’s be honest, a lot of our lives can be boring at times. Instead of making life something we would be proud of, we decide that other people’s lives are more interesting to focus on. Of course, when you’re on autopilot, you have more time to check out the views and focus on everyone else but you.

You’re addicted.

Yes, addicted. People get addicted to social media and sometimes they aren’t even consuming the information. It’s a time suck and it’s easy to get stuck just scrolling to scroll, taking in mostly useless information just because it is available to us. If you are addicted, it’s probably harder than ever to put your phone down with the fear that you MIGHT miss something important. Instead of deciding to live your life, you’d rather be an audience member of someone else’s show.

It makes you happy

You laugh. You cry. You share. You comment. You retweet. You feel a part of the crowd. Social media brings happiness to a lot of people. It’s original intent was to connect people…i.e. be “social”.

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So, have you identified your problem of why you can’t get off of social media? If not, take some time to think about the feelings it gives you. What are you doing when you decide you have to check your phone? What are you trying to stop doing when you pick up your phone?  Before you can find a solution, you have to find the problem.

Solutions?

For once, I’m not going to give you the answer because honestly, it’s different for everyone depending on the day and I don’t know if I have them… but good news! You have clicked this blog and realized you have a problem (or that I have a problem and you’re laughing at me right now). I’m in the same boat, I realize I have a problem and I know there must be a solution. So, here’s what I’ve been doing/trying to do:

  • Find something to do! Ever since I’ve been busy working on my own projects, social media has become less important, unless it directly deals with my projects. It’s amazing what happens when you have your own business to mind.
  • Take away the ease of access from the social media apps that I spend the most time on. Example. I can only access Twitter on my laptop.
  • Limit the amount of time you are on social media with an app. The Space app helps me drastically by sending reminders when I’ve been on social media for too long.
  • Create an alternative, quick access task for you to do to replace the time you spend on social media. I’ve downloaded some game apps, knowledge-based apps, and e-books as alternatives.
  • Go completely cold turkey and delete the apps. You would be amazed at how much time you waste on social media by not getting on it at all. This allows you to have more time to think, including thinking of new things you can do instead of being on social media.
  • Find a passion project, then put deadlines on it. When you’re focused on something meaningful, the meaning-less matters less
  • Travel… Most countries don’t have data available. You have to live more. (This may just be a selfish plug for traveling. Don’t judge me!)
  • Hide your shortcuts to your apps. While you’re searching for them, you’ll realize how much you don’t actually need it.

To be real, Social media is hard to get rid of, but it’s possible to survive without it. Ask your mom & dad. Don’t worry, you’ll know what you need to know. Your friends will tell you when Beyoncé drops. Stop using social media as a crutch and live more. How about we do it together?

Signed,

ART getting it together

The Mental Diet | Watching What You Think

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I’ve been on a new diet and it’s unlike anything I’ve ever done before. It’s something that’s been much needed because honestly my previous diet was filled with a lot of trash with no nutritional value. It’s called a mental diet.

I’m on a mental diet where I’m consciously watching what I think by looking at my mental intakes. Basically, the information I consume on a daily basis dictates my thoughts, therefore watching and limiting certain mental intakes helps me to think better thoughts and be a better person.

My junk food of choice happens to be social media, specifically Twitter and Instagram. Mostly Twitter, if we’re going to be honest. So, Twitter is like my Zaxby’s of mental food. It feels good after the first and second bite, but too much and I’m useless. From celebrity news to regular news, my consumption on a daily basis invades my thoughts, subconsciously, and makes me feel full. Full of thoughts that are just illusions of nothingness that don’t contribute to any beneficial nourishment.

So, here I am, now on a mental diet trying to live a better life. Not completely cutting out the mental junk food, but limiting my intake until I have more discipline.  I’m working on supplying myself with nourishing mental meals in the forms of books, articles, blogs, marketing information and even my own thoughts (writing). I realized that part of the reason why I wasn’t writing as much as I used to was that I wasn’t giving myself much to work with. I needed the energy, knowledge, and thoughts to even operate on my normal schedule. Therefore, I had to really put myself on a mental diet, no matter how crazy that sounds.

So, how does a mental diet work? Here are some pointers that I’m learning on my journey:

  • Write down the thoughts that occupy your mind the most during the day as an assessment
  • Identify the things offer you some sort of nutritional benefit and the things that offer no nutritional value
  • Point out 3 things you want to learn about for your personal or professional growth
  • Find multiple resources that you can consume on a daily basis to learn about those 3 things
  • Create reminders and fillers to replace your mental junk food with something more beneficial
  • If social media is an issue for you, update your phone with more useful apps and move the ones you use too much to a less accessible place or take them off of your phone until you can achieve a new normal
  • Find a happy balance for your mental diet that works for you. Cheat days are completely understandable

Well, good luck! Let me know how this goes for you and I’ll do the same!

Signed,

ART Undone