During the holiday season I took a 12 day social media break. It was awesome. I didn’t intend to take it to assess myself, but I’m naturally an analytical person so that’s what happened. You can read about it here Holidays vs. Social Media.

One of the key things that came out of that for me were motivations to detach myself from social media, within reason. Hear me, social media is not bad, but like anything, moderation is probably the healthy route.

Here are the motivations I uncovered during this time:

Better marriage
Fresh mind
Deep sleep
Enjoying the moment
Less Cynicism (I didn’t add this in my last post)

Each of those items are HUGE motivations from me to begin to detach myself because they are all very important. There is enough here to carry me towards change.

Now I want to be strategic. First, I need to know my triggers. A trigger is something that when “pulled” fires a response to action. So I asked myself these questions:

Why am I opening my phone first thing this morning?

Why am I unconsciously looking at my phone?

What feeling am I experiencing when I pick up my phone?

I mentally logged my urges to grab my phone and scroll social media. When each of these things happened I was triggered to grab my phone:

First thing in the morning
Dead space (when I was waiting on something or had nothing to do)
When I was anxious
When I was hurt
When I was stuck
When I was mad
When I was bored
When I needed approval

I don’t believe grabbing my phone is a bad thing, but to do so excessively and using it as escapism is. Here’s why…

Grabbing it excessively overloads my brain with data and clouds it. It hinders my ability to be in the moment, socialize, work, and create.

Escapism means to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant things or feelings by seeking entertainment or fantasy.

My biggest issue is escapism.

I’m a “thinker” on the Myers Briggs scorecard. Which means I think with my head before my feelings. Logic and rational always override feelings, which means I ignore what I’m feeling or I am completely ignorant to it. This works out well during a crisis but can be horrible when it comes to managing my day-to-day emotions!

Here’s what I found:

Often I run to social media to escape boredom, ill feelings, and seeking the need for approval. The problem is social media can never fully entertain me, heal my ill emotions, or satisfy my need of approval. It is a broken cistern that never satisfies, nor was it created to. I believe continuing to run down the “social media path” can be quite dangerous because I will neglect the most important things in life: myself and others.

So I need to create a new “path” so that when I’m triggered to grab my phone during these moments I don’t run down the social media path, but one that is much better.

Here are the questions I have for you: what are your triggers? If you’re like me and you can’t put down the phone, ask yourself:

Why am I picking it up?

When am I picking it up?

What am I feeling when I pick it up?

In my next post I will talk about my healthy new “paths”.

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