This may be one of the more cliché posts I’ve written, but this post comes with a challenge. So keep reading.
One night, as I was scrolling through one of my social feeds while lying in bed, I was overcome with a feeling of fear and anger after realizing 30 minutes had passed.
Is this what future generations will be like?
Is this really worth going to sleep later than I want?
Why do I need to fill every second of empty time with the scrolling of my thumb?
Of course I’m referring to the fact that I felt like I had become addicted to my social media accounts. And not posting to them, but scrolling – endlessly – every second I got. It’s a mindless activity that has incredibly adverse effects on our physical, mental, and social health. Yes, social health, even though it’s called “social” media.
These accounts were making me get to bed later than I wanted, because I’d scroll for 30 minutes every night before bed. I’d be looking at a bright screen, preventing my body from entering “sleep mode”, which didn’t allow me to sleep properly.
During the day I’d be scrolling, looking down at my phone forcing my head and neck to tilt forward which can lead to permanent cervical spine alterations leading to hunched shoulders and back, and improper neural communication to your entire body.
Moreover, my mental health was suffering. Going through difficult times made social media a way to snoop, or to post and pretend like everything was okay to show off, which didn’t allow me to cope with my feelings and emotions, and deal with them properly.
And finally, it prevented me from truly being present during real social activities with friends and co-workers. I’d still be on my phone, distracted from reality.
If this sounds like you, you’re definitely not alone. Which is why I decided to deactivate all of my accounts, and delete the apps from my phone. While temporary, this decision has already helped me with all of the issues I described above. More importantly, I hardly even miss being on those apps at all.
I’ve quickly realized how immediately addicting and how much short term pleasure social media provides. And how much damage it was doing to me and how much I could create longer term happiness and pleasure by not being on the apps all the time.
I’ve even started dedicating 1 hour a day to turn my phone completely off.
When, truly, was the last time you consciously turned off your phone? I don’t mean “do not disturb” or silent-mode. And I also don’t mean your phone dying without a charger handy.
Actively turning off your phone is such a relieving and pleasurable experience. It shuts you out, and keeps you present to the here and now, free from one more distraction device in our lives.
So I challenge you to start dedicating time every day to turn off your phone. Start with 15 or 30 minutes, then work up. You can keep it during the same time every day, or don’t, but do it consistently every day.
You may even start taking the extra steps of turning off your social media notifications, or even deleting the apps from your phone entirely.
Let me know how it goes, and how you feel.
Our lives are meant to serve others and help each other grow stronger, happier, and healthier together, not give people “likes” while lying in bed at night when you should be sleeping, recovering, and preparing for the day ahead.