Well, bet you didn’t think you’d hear this one from me, right? The blogger, telling you that there’s such a thing as being TOO attached to your social media and by extension, your phone. Well, I am. That’s because I’m your girl. I’m in the best possible position to speak to you about this; I live and breathe the internet. It’s my hobby, my relaxation and a large part of my livelihood. Even with all of that I had to learn when to turn off and how to be okay with it.
Let me tell you a little about THAT!
A couple of years ago we sold our home and moved to my sister’s house while we purchased our next property. Nice, all was good, except for one thing; we had no internet. Heck, no phone reception some days. It was worse than growing up on dial-up. I went from full access to pretty much nothing. And I felt it.
There was this ball of anxiety about not being able to able to schedule posts, to communicate on Facebook or Instagram and all the other things that social media requires. Some nights, with my phone perched on the highest window sill, it still wouldn’t work and I would get super angry and upset.
Here’s the thing, that’s bad.
As the months went on, I realised that the world keeps spinning. As dramatic as it sounds, I felt like for my blog and my business, that it wouldn’t. Like, if I wasn’t there to keep things spinning it would just fall in a heap. Newsflash. It didn’t. There was freedom in that realisation. I felt like I could exhale for the first time in a long time. The pressure was defused and I found that less and less I would reach for my phone. It’s not that social media was forgotten, it just wasn’t THE most important thing anymore.
The pressure was defused and I found that less and less I would reach for my phone. It’s not that social media was forgotten, it just wasn’t THE most important thing anymore. It became part of a process. I’d plan ahead, schedule, and then, like magic, I got out there and got a life. I’ve certainly still got plenty of love for my phone but more and more I find I don’t even pick it up. Well, unless I’m waiting (I’m so freaking impatient) or to show the people something online.
So, are you hooked on your social media?
There are some major red flags when it comes to getting too attached to your phone, and by extension, your social media. I know that we are used to having our phones, having them work and being ‘connected’ online whenever, wherever. But it’s not good when you feel that you NEED to be online, no matter how many FOMO jokes we make.
For me, it started with that anxious feeling when you can’t access your phone or social media. If you regularly feel angry, frustrated or upset by reduced or limited access to the internet, this could be a red flag. Sure, there’s a difference between getting frustrated when you’ve got something to do and when there’s no reason for you to be online. Watch out for that. Start to leave your phone in the car or on charge in your bedroom instead of having it with you all the time. This distance will help you realise, you’re really not missing much.
Another red flag was the flicking between apps and refreshing. No, I’m trying to spoil ALL your fun, but if you find yourself doing this over and over again, pouncing on new posts or updates, well… Not great. I still find myself slipping into this, especially when I’m having a hard time sleeping. No one updates at 3 am and refreshing the page a billion times won’t change that. If you find yourself doing this, stop what you’re doing, put the phone down and find something else to do. I like to leave my phone in the kitchen when I’m watching TV, or in the car when we go to a park, cafe or to visit people.
If you find yourself avoiding places or situations that won’t have service or wifi then well, bad news. While we were at my sister’s I would find all sorts of reasons to delay my return home from work. As the time came to head home, even though it should have been the highlight of my day, I would mess around on my phone and avoid going. There was nothing to do. No news, or updates, no nothing… So what was that about? It was FOMO (fear of missing out) and it hit me hard. All I could do to break the habit was to just go. Make myself, when I had to. While I was there I started leaving my phone in the car, at home or in my bag.
There you go team, I hope that for some of you this post will give you the space to step back from your socials (your phone) a little and get back into your life. It’s not that we mean to get caught up or check out, it’s that these devices and the communities we find online are SO available. Don’t beat yourself up, just make some small changes, it’ll make the world of difference.
Chief Blogger at Suger Coat It; An Australian lifestyle blog for women who work for themselves. Melissa is a social media consultant & lover of stripes. Most weekends you’ll find her at the beach or home on the veranda kicking back. Around here, they call her Suger. Feel free to do the same.