It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog because most of my writing has been on Instagram. Last week, Instagram and Facebook went out, and we all felt a mini panic about life without social media. I felt a mini panic that some of my writing would be lost forever!
Writing my shit out has helped me heal. Helped me get crazy thoughts out of my head and onto paper….er… screen. But when my writing is on Instagram, Instagram owns it. instagram can go away in a flash, and that would be the end of it all.
I was following a controversial Keto guy on IG for a while because his ideas were so out there, I was intrigued by the cult following he built. Anywho, the day before his Keto book launched, his Instagram account was hacked and all his followers were deleted. Whatever promotions he was going to do for his book no longer could happen. Whatever potential customers he had, gone.
Additionally, I have been thinking more about the health effects of being on social media. Not good. From eyes hurting, thumbs hurting, head hurting… comparisonities. Yuck. How can I call myself a health/life coach while encouraging and participating in this behavior?
Sunday, March 17-deleted FB and IG
Monday, March 18- Voxered clients, emailed my coach, emailed my newsletter, and recorded a podcast episode so people didn’t think I ran off with their money, that I didn’t block them, that I wasn’t dead
Tuesday, March 19- needed to sign on to FB to message a girl from my Mastermind about an upcoming trip- signed on, only looked at her message, saw the red numbers telling me how many messages and posts there were for me to read, consciously chose not to and made mental note of how FB tries to look us in which eventually turns into a mindless scroll and feeling empty inside- what just happened?! I know I usually sign onto FB because I am bored, lonely, avoiding something. FB provides a connection with people, but it’s not a real connection. I always leave feeling worse about myself.
I created a different way to connect with my clients using Slack- so it is a forum that will not collect data and will not contribute to scrolling culture.
FB entered my life my sophomore year of college. So just like dieting has been present in people’s lives for decades, FB has been present in my life for 14 years. I remember my friends at U of I, the big state school in Illinois, they got FB first and then it was rolled out months later to smaller colleges. When it got to Augustana, pretty sure we broke the internet because we were all on it. Back then, it was a novelty. It was cool to connect with people and see who was in your classes. But now… FB and now IG as well… run our lives.
Since sophomore year of college, I have given up FB for lent… I can’t even count how many times. Just like people have done 30 day all or nothing diets and then return to old habits, I’ve done the same with social media. Additionally, I have written in my journal over and over and over again how if I wasn’t on FB, I would be able to get so much more done in my real life. But my loneliness and boredom or avoidance always pushed me to going back to FB. Just like people have thrown food out or refused to buy certain foods… I have deleted the FB app off of my phone. And then just started using it via Safari on my phone. Just like Kris Carr used to throw food out and then spray Windex on it to prevent her from eating it, I have deleted IG off of my phone to prevent myself from going on it… which also led to me reinstalling IG and deleting 3-4x a day. I started working with a social media manager to help me organize my social media and post things for me- and while she is amazing and you’ve might have noticed my feed looks more colorful and organized, this was a bandaid for a much bigger wound- deleting an app 3-4x a day tells me there is something else going on here that needs to be addressed. Having to walk on egg shells because I don’t trust myself is not a sustainable life.
I tried for the past 2 days to have a life without FB, and unfortunately right now, it’s not really possible though I am doing the work in my business to use other places and to get people off of social media the best I can.
I texted my husband my plans and shared how Fb and junk food are so similar. There might not be scientific health benefits, but there are other things. I really do enjoy the taste of chocolate chip cookies. And I really do enjoy the connections and relationships I’ve made because of social media.
So right now I am figuring out what tools I need in place to have a little bit of social media without a lotta bit. How to have social media without social media taking over my life. Additionally, how to run a socially responsible health and life coaching business. Training my potential clients to be addicted to social is not the business I want to run, and I encourage you to be aware of any accounts you follow that are making you addicted to social media.
Ok so look at your phone or computer that you’re listening to this on. One thing I love about my online teaching job is that that little black dot introduces me to the other side of the world. I get to teach kids in china, and sometimes they’re on the bus with their iPad or train or car. And I get to see china. And it’s all possible because of that little black dot. That camera, right. I get to travel to the other side of the world. And in 25 minutes, it’s done. And I get paid which is pretty cool.
Well, when I am on social media and stuck in scrolling culture, I feel like my phone sucks me in, my eyes are glued to my screen, my chest hurts, I’m overwhelmed by the colors and the options and the clicking the voting. It’s not mindful decisions about the actions. It’s sucking me in, taking my data with each action I make on my phone, and using me. It’s using my data and profiting big time. And this isn’t saying money is bad because it’s not. We need money to live. That’s how an economy works. But the exchange happening over social media is this vapid exchange. When I work with a client, the client receives value in the form of coaching to make actions to change her life and I receive money for that. When I scroll on social media, I lose minutes and most of the time hours of my life and the company is making money off of ad dollars.
Truthfully, this was my usual routine- click on instagram, look to see who had commented, refresh, refresh, look at some dumb memes, click over to Fb, scroll, scrolll, click to email, click back over to instagram. Sometimes for 30 minutes. Sometimes more. I have no idea. I did some math and I am going to go on the low end because I don’t know the number. But on the low end, if I spent 1 hour a day on social media over the past 14 years, 1 hour a day comes out to 365 hours a year which is 15 days a year, I am scrolling on social media for 15 days a year. If we look at that habit over the course of 14 years, that is 210 days. Over the last 14 years, I have spent 210 days of my finite life scrolling on social media. Hours wise, that’s 5,040 hours. And 1 hour a day is on the low end. I know there are plenty of days I’ve spent way more than 1 hour a day scrolling on social media.
If this behavior continues, at just 1 hour a day, which again, is a low estimate, but if at 1 hour day, in another ten years, 1 full year of my life would have been spent scrolling on social media.
We’re on this planet one time. Scrolling on social media makes me feel empty. This is not how I want to live my life.