You guys! I’m halfway through this experiment/challenge/rehab/self-prescribed time-out/ digital cleanse and I only had a few tiny relapses. I briefly considered to pretend that that didn’t happen – because who would know!? – but then I decided that the whole point of this blog is to share my experience honestly so that someone somewhere can maybe find some value in it. So here is when I relapsed:
1) When my wife and I went on a 5-day mini vacation in New Hampshire and Maine. I didn’t post anything and in fact made it a point to primarily take photos with my SLR camera rather than with my phone to make the process of photographing more mindful and intentional. But at the same time I felt a weird sense of jealousy that Julie got to share our beautiful vacation with our friends, while my photos remained unseen (for now) on my camera’s SD card. Out of that jealousy, I briefly visited Julie’s Instagram to see what she posted. Before getting to Julie’s page, I saw a few photos of my friends’ beautiful families and realized again how much I missed that part of social media. To not completely abort the mission, I resisted the urge to mindlessly scroll. Or, using the alcoholic analogy, I took a sip and then was able to put back the bottle before getting drunk mindlessly.
2) The next couple of sips were taken after the conclusion of “The Bachelorette”. (Yes, I know, watching a reality TV show doesn’t seem to be the best example of intentional living. I’m working on it.) The season finale was rather dramatic and the bachelorette’s choice slightly controversial so I JUST HAD TO go to her and her fiance’s Instagram pages to see how they were presenting themselves to the world. I also felt the need to check on Peter, the guy who got his heart broken in the process. He’s fine. They’re all fine as far as I can tell because social media is no place to show when you’re not fine. It should be. It should be a place to share our human experience and to use modern technology to multiply the love and support we have for each other. But I digress. Once again, I resisted the scrolling and stayed away from the notifications icons.
As for what I wanted to get out of this – primarily more time – it’s working. I’ve read more and had more meaningful conversations with the people I love and with myself. I’m starting to look ahead to the end of this detox and I’m confident that in another 15 days I will have learned how to use social media in an intentional, mindful manner.