I recently realized I was somewhat annoyed with my own preoccupation with social media. (Annoyed, as in when you get on your own last nerve!) It seemed that I couldn’t eat a solo meal or sit in a waiting room without checking Facebook to pass the time. So I decided to do a little distancing. I removed Facebook and Messenger from my mobile phone and simply dealt….dealt with a slightly bereft feeling of a familiar activity (when did I start immediately going to my phone in those situations? How long had I been doing that?) Instead, I began noticing…and tasting…my food. I realized that I ate more slowly without the phone in front of me while I mindlessly shoveled in food.
Not that there hasn’t been other activity that has replaced it. I now carry with me an old habit–a book–and find that I can read, pause, savor a bite or look around the waiting room, think about what I just read, or just observe and listen in a moment of meditation. People-watching (not creepily, I promise) has re-emerged as a favorite hobby.
Around the same time, a roommate moved out of my house and took their television with them (the only TV in the house). In years past, I have lived without a TV for months on end and it has never bothered me (much to the surprise of others who proclaim “but you HAVE to have a TV!”). Likewise this time, I have found that without the temptation to sit and binge a favorite show, I am moving about my house–actually getting things done–or sitting quietly to read. If there is something I want to watch, I stream it and move my laptop into whatever room I desire. Amazeballs! I can DO things while I watch or listen to a show. Alternately, I can turn on my stereo and either sit quietly or get things done as I feel motivated.
And what sparked this need to unplug a little? A friend’s post–on social media–that she felt the need to disconnect for awhile. Which I wouldn’t have seen if I hadn’t been too plugged in, myself. But it caused me, in a flash, to recognize that something was ‘off’ in my habits and, in a flash, I knew it was the right thing to do. Course correction, whether big or small, is always worth considering. I’m glad I did.