Screen Break

I made a conscious effort over the holidays to take some time away from work and screens in general.  I gave myself permission to read some books in the daylight (currently reserving only after 10 pm for personal reading) I also took a few days and spent them baking and cooking.  It was a great break from the standard day to day–I even baked the dogs some cookies.

One thing that I realized over this break, though, is how much I appreciated being away from social media in general.  It has its function in society today, and I wouldn’t go so far as to drop away from it entirely, but instead of aimlessly scrolling while I drank my coffee I picked up a book instead, or I was present and watched the dogs stretch and groan and the pup try (in vain) to convince the other two to play.

This break from seeing all those other lives through social media was refreshing, and it is something I have decided to take on this year–not as a resolution—but as a change in habit: an intention.

Social media can be a massive time-suck; it can draw you in and lose chunks of time while getting nothing accomplished.  Not that you must always be productive, but you aren’t exactly relaxing while scrolling through, either.  At least, I know I don’t, not in a true way.  Not like taking the dogs outside to play or taking them on a walk will refresh me for the work to come.

There is a new app available on iPhones that tracks your screen time; I find it exceptionally telling that, as a whole, people spend far too much time scrolling by, seeing snippets of others lives, but making no real connection.

This isn’t big news, by any means, that we spend too much time looking at our phones.  It is a social epidemic that almost no one is innocent from.  But aside from this, when I do go on social media, I see a movement there, too, to take a step back.  People are encouraging others to stop scrolling too much, stop comparing so much.

While it is great to share (and one of the things I love using these for is keeping in touch with family that no longer lives close to me) it is important to keep those spaces a positive space.  To consider who you are following and what you are looking at.  If you are following someone and every time you see their post you don’t find pleasure in it, why are you following them?

I encourage you this year to take a step back from social media, to consider who you are following when you are on there and how the experience as a whole makes you feel –is it worth the chunk of time you are spending on it?