My Social Media Detox and Subsequent Evolution

I recently had things happen in my life that helped me decide to take a break from social media. It hasn't been a 100% hardcore detox but, other than a sneak peak here or a blog link posted on Twitter, I've been pretty darn serious about it. In fact, I even deleted all my social media apps off my phone. 

And, I have to tell you, it feels damn good! Now, the first couple days, it did not! It felt weird. I would pull up my phone and scroll through, quickly realizing I had nothing to distract myself with. I'd maybe check the weather and make a list on my notepad but that was about it! Now, just a few days later, I've come to embrace it so much that I've taken it a few steps further and stayed almost completely off the internet other than work related things and concrete research here and there. 

As a result, I find myself not looking at my phone for hours at a time! I actually keep losing my phone. 

Anyone who knows me, knows this has become out of character for me over the last few years. I've even had a few people text me and then text me an hour later and ask "Are you okay? Are you getting my texts?" Realizing that my loved ones are concerned that I may, in fact, be injured or dead by my lack of prompt response has made me acutely aware of what a phone zombie I had become. And I never used to be.....and I never will again. 

How did I get that way? Where I had to constantly feel connected. I didn't realize how much time I wasted doing it either. I didn't realize how tuned out I was to what was going on around because of this self-imposed obligation to promptly respond to everyone whether it be via text or social media. I've went ahead and told my friends and family, "If you don't hear from me for a few days, I promise I'm alive, you'll understand and appreciate this new development when you see me face-to-face again and receive my undivided attention."

I am officially no longer a member of the "tuned out" society and now I want to encourage everyone around me to tune in to your beautiful, rich lives right in front of you. I can't believe the peace and happiness and clarity that life offers when you truly tune in to the moment. And it goes so far past just not starting at a screen. It's also not dwelling on events that already happened or may happen in the future. It's not dwelling on people that aren't present. It's allowing yourself to be fully engaged and present in the moment. 

And the ripple effect of this is amazing. I recently had a very deep and enlightening conversation with my father that prompted him, at 71 years old, to try to fundamentally change something about himself that will enhance his own life. I would've never had this conversation prior to my social media detox because it was late one evening and I was getting sleepy and I would've been scrolling through my phone having a light-hearted, half engaged conversation with him because that's what I tend to do when I get tired, I space out on my phone. My son is suddenly better behaved and connecting more fully with me. I am getting TONS more done with my life. 

I am almost ashamed to admit that these things are just now happening and were ever hindered by my phone zombification but if no one admits it, then no one learns, and I'm all about always learning and growing!

Today's topic at my UU church was about love. He spoke of how the opposite of love is not's indifference. Let that sink in. Really sink in. I know it did for me. And the opposite to action is also....indifference. Apathy. It's where we sometimes go when our emotions get too hard to deal with...into apathy. We space out. And it detracts from our humanity. 

A couple years ago, someone special in my life introduced me to Pema Chodran, who's writings I've been devouring again lately. She talks about the importance of sitting with your feelings and truly drinking in the full spectrum of them. THIS will add to our humanity. This is adding to MY humanity. I am feeling more pain but, as a result, I am also feeling more joy, wonder and love. I am feeling at peace within myself and that is an amazing step for me. It's something that I don't think I've ever felt. I've always ran. When I sit back and think about it, I've ran through every type of distraction in my life. All seemingly different, but all serving the same purpose. Daydreaming, various screens (tv, computer, phone), food, alcohol, men, cleaning, organizing, SLEEPING....whatever! Just don't feel the pain! Don't sit with the uncomfortable feelings at any cost.

No more. I am learning to sit with all the uncomfortable feelings more and more as time goes in. And the more I don't run, the more humanity I feel. The more love I feel. The less hate I feel and, here's the most amazing part...the more I am okay with just sitting with myself and not needing anyone or anything to "feel okay".

Next weekend I am taking it one big old giant step further. I am going to a silent meditation and yoga retreat. This is a really huge deal for me, someone who is always trying to run from the noise in my head. 

I'm done running. And the more I stop and listen to the's not noise at all. It's me. It's my emotions. It's my humanity, my soul. And I'm FINALLY ready to listen. 

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