I took a break from my phone and I didn’t miss it, not even a little. It wasn’t a full break, but I took a week off of social media, and I made a conscious decision not to use my phone unnecessarily. All the random Google searches, which often lead me down a rabbit hole of reading a random article, then going to YouTube, then to Amazon etc… all of that was also cut out. For a little over a week, I hesitated before reaching for my phone out of habit; in that pause I often decided that I didn’t actually need my phone after all. Now when I felt a cramp in my back, I didn’t look up exercises, watch a video, read a blog, and read Amazon reviews on some random supplement or device, I just stretched and kept on with my day.
I expected to feel out of sorts, like I was missing out on something, but instead I felt like I was literally on a vacation. On a consistent basis I find myself lamenting about how little time I have. Turns out, the overwhelming amount of time I use on my phone is completely unnecessary, and responsible for a lot of that lost time. I had so much more time once I started leaving my phone in a different room (usually for four or more hour blocks) during the day. I did some major de-cluttering in the house, made updates to my investment portfolio and actually made money, I read a book, and started getting ideas on creative projects that I’d like to tackle. My kids also noticed. Now when we had a fun activity, we just had fun. I didn’t grab my phone to snap pictures, I could just be in the moment with them; I am obsessed with taking photos, and capturing every day moments with my family brings me a lot of joy, but even taking a short break from that felt great. And I can always take photos without my phone. I also have to acknowledge that my Apple watch made this process even more seamless. I was never distracted with wondering if I’d missed an important call or text, calls and text messages still come to my watch (although all other notifications are turned off).
This break was intended to just be a week, but as my week ended and I logged back in to my social media accounts, I immediately felt an internal shift take place, and not a good one. I seemed a little more distracted, and indecisive. I was busier, but less productive. My return to my regular phone usage has definitely given me a reason to take a step back, hit the pause button, and evaluate what means the most to me and what I want to spend my time on.
I’m honestly not even sure what that’ll look like. I created my Sprinkles and Dirt Instagram account with really 3 main objectives:
- To learn and connect (there are so many phenomenal activities for kids being shared on that platform), and so many great people to meet.
- To share (when I come up with a great way to teach the kids, I feel compelled to share it with others. I know how much I appreciate when others do it, so I am driven to do the same).
- To represent. I’m part of a black, two mom family. I don’t see a whole lot of families that look like us, I’m yet to find one other homeschooling queer family, and I’ve only found a handful of secular black families. I believe representation is critically important, so I wanted to have a presence. I wanted other families like mine to see themselves reflected in the wholesome, child development, family focused space of the web.
So now what? I love my Instagram account, but I can’t ignore the fact that something about social media sucks the energy right out of me… so for now, I’m taking a bit of a pause, to focus on writing, and de-cluttering my house, and tackling the many tiny little tasks that have been mounting and contributing to my decision fatigue (that feeling you get when you can’t make a decision because you’re exhausted from making so many). When I feel like posting content, I will, when I don’t, I won’t. My phone will stay in another room for most of the day, and I’ll continue to jot things down in a notebook if I’m worried I’ll forget something. I’m also hoping to get back into blogging, and to use this space as an outlet to learn, share, and represent. For now, my only call to action is to simplify my life, and dedicate the rest of the year to aligning my daily activities with my top priorities. I’m excited to see what this last month of the year will bring, and I look forward to sharing some of those highlights here!
Currently Reading – How to break up with your phone: The 30-Day Plan to Take Back Your Life
I love this book so much I’ve basically recommended it to everyone I’ve had any interaction with since starting it. This book breaks down why breaking up with your phone might be a terrific idea, then it goes about how to pull that off. The best part – the author isn’t advocating that you stop using your phone! Smart phones have so many amazing benefits that can actually make our lives a whole lot easier. This book is more about how to take control of that relationship so it works for you.
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