I have been contemplating getting rid of social media for my entire adult life. But there is always a million reasons not to delete; the memories recorded, photos, information, connection ect. This past winter I took the first step, the biggest step. I deleted Facebook, not deactivate but deleted. It is totally gone, or as gone as anything is that was once on the internet can be. The account I had used for twelve years, tons of photos and memories deleted, but I am so glad I deleted it. Facebook was definitely my most used social media platform. I had deactivated it in the past but this was different. I was done. The drama was outrageous, every time I got on Facebook I was looking at someone’s crazy personal problems they aired all over Facebook… it is not normal to know people’s personal problems that you barley know. It is too much. And not to mention all the bad news. So much bad news, even if you unfollow all the news pages. So it is forever gone, I passed the time to undo the delete and I am happier for it.
Flash forward to the beginning of summer, I woke up one morning and randomly had a very deep rooted desire to get off all remaining social media. I had Snapchat and Instagram remaining. So that morning took a lovely photo of a flower in my garden and posted saying I was taking the summer off from social media, if you need me call me. Lots of people said they loved the idea but could never for whatever reason.
Honestly at first it was weird. We are so used to always being entertained and having something to stimulate us. I would find myself still checking my phone even though I had nothing to look at, or actually looking for the app out if habit- temporarily forgetting I had deleted them. But after a couple weeks I began really enjoying the freedom. I’m not accidentally getting sucked into my phone looking at things that do NOT matter in the slightest. Making me far more present. Far less people contact me, the convenience of quickly conversing via comments or snapchats encourages people to reach our far more than good old call or text. Less people reaching out to me may sound like a down side, but I enjoy the solitude. Being available to people and always be chatting back and forth takes alot of energy and is distracting. People that really want to talk and that I truly enjoy call me to chat, which is wonderful. Quality over quantity.
I love to read, I love for my kiddos to love being read to. While we still read before my purging of social media we are all reading far more. Instead of sitting down with a book but getting distracted by my phone going off and going down the rabbit hole of Instagram I sit and JUST read. It is like really great! So peaceful and relaxing. I find that my children are asking to be read to alot more too. Children will follow your lead… so lead well.
Being off social media has made me enjoy seeing friends and family far more. The detox from all the constant updates and drama has left me with energy to socialize. And I actually have things to talk to them about, because I have not seen their constant updates on Facebook and they have not seen mine. So they can tell me about all the fun things they have been doing and I can share with them. I am usually the person out of the loop, not update to on all the happenings of everyone’s lives. . . truly I love it. It seems like so much more of genuine interaction when I visit with people.
The children and I have been spending these warm days off social media doing lots of fun things. We are getting into the habit of once a week driving to our local coffee shop bright and early in the morning. I have a delicious latte and avocado toast, the boys split a warm “hot” chocolate with their muffins. We chat and really enjoy one another. Then I pack the boys into the stroller I keep in the back of my car and we walk to the other end of town to the library. We slowly browse the books, play with puzzles and visit with the librarian. Then we pack the stroller with the children and giant stacks of books, then stroll back to the car. Sometimes we head to my grandma’s house after for lunch and the boys have her read their library books with them. Everyone really enjoys these days!
We also got a year membership to a botanical garden. It is lovely they have hiking trails, rescued wild animals, gardens, butterfly houses and playgrounds built from natural materials. It is gorgeous! The children really enjoy this and learn something new everytime we go.
So we spend our days enjoying the local coffee shop, walking about, enjoying nature, gardening, playing, reading, baking and other creative task. It is truly blissful most days. I keep my calendar as bare as I can only agreeing to fun wholesome activities that we all enjoy. We like outdoor, peaceful activities. So we say no to the things that dont sound like fun or I know in the end, will result in two tantruming toddlers. Aside from going to church each week (which is everyone’s favorite day) we have no consistent commitments outside the home.
I am loving this slow down of life and the lack if media distractions. In the evening we may watch a fun movie, like a black and white classic or Pooh. But other wise we are playing and enjoying the summer weather. I think this is a great life and a great childhood for my children. I dont think I will go back to social media when summer is over, after the withdrawal period I do not miss it one bit.